Dorothy Sayers in her award-winning lecture at Oxford University said “We let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armour was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects.”
Sayers gave that speech in 1947!
She further added that “although we often succeed in teaching our pupils ‘subjects,’ we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning.”
I knew when I was in ninth grade that, should I ever have children of my own, I wanted something different for them than my own education experience. There were several reasons for this that I won’t take time to go into here, but am glad to answer at length in the comments if you really want to know.
In my previous posts, I talked about why homeschooling and homesteading pair so well together, and how I overcame my own prejudices against homeschooling when it became clear we were being led that direction.
In 1933, John Dewey, also known as the father of modern education, wrote the Humanist Manifesto in which he launched an attack on the claims of scripture of a self-existing God and on the “inalienable rights” given by Him as outlined in America’s founding documents. A socialist and collectivist, Dewey was an admirer of the Soviet Union and openly hostile to the idea that individuals could own private property.
Dewey warned that the indoctrination of humanism he pioneered, so contrary to America’s founding fathers and the Christians principles on which the Republic was founded, must be introduced slowly.
“Change must come gradually,” he wrote in an 1898 essay calling for schools to place less emphasis on reading and writing, and more emphasis on collectivism. “To force it unduly would compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction.”
Dewey realized the difficulty in controlling a more literate populous versus one that had been less educated. Laws in the south leading up to the Civil War prohibited slaves from being taught to read, thus ensuring an easier ability to maintain control over them. Thus, Dewey urged the National Education Association to spend less time on reading.
“The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school-life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.” Dewey lamented in his 1898 essay “The Primary-Education Fetich,” which was to guide the progressives in their long-range crusade to remake American education as an instrument to bring about socialism.
It was Dewey, likewise, who introduced the concept of a social studies curriculum – the study of human interaction in societies and culture – rather than civics, which taught the rights and duties of citizens within a sovereign nation. Dewey also exhorted teachers to spend less instruction on the emphasis of virtues.
While Dewey was a member of several Marxist associations and envisioned a socialist America, he relied on the funding of America’s most successful capitalists for his campaigns, notably the Rockefellers.
This is just a quick snapshot of the very real plot to overthrow the philosophy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by infiltrating the American education system.
What the State gives, the State can take away
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I’m not really a religious person, so how does this affect me?”
The moment we as a culture take on the idea that our freedoms are not God-given because there is no God, by default that presumes the freedoms are given by the State. And if the State can give them to us, the State can also take them away.
See any of this happening this past year, year-and-a-half?
The ability to develop critical reasoning skills and to discern where philosophies come from – and to where they take mankind – is invaluable for my children. I don’t want my children simply to parrot the platform of politicians and pop culture icons.
As Thomas Sowell, economist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute observed, “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”
How about you? What kind of goals have you set for your children concerning their education, and what steps are you taking to ensure their success?