FIRST PRINCIPLES: EDUCATION
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. – Proverbs 2:1-8
Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. – C.S. Lewis
Wisdom and knowledge are essential to building healthy communities. A properly educated citizenry is innovative, stable, and productive; it is also more likely to be just, free and reasoned. While many nations mandate primary and secondary education, many youths graduate uneducated and ill-equipped to understand or operate in the world around them. The public school system is not solely to blame, however, as Scripture clearly bestows the role of “teacher” on parents.
In a beautifully constructed system, God enabled parents to direct the upbringing of their children and to provide moral, spiritual, and classical education. When functioning properly, the home is the best place for children to be discipled and trained. Parents know and love their children better than anyone. Their consistent presence enables them to patiently discipline and faithfully guide their children through the various seasons of life. Parents also influence thier children more than anyone else, especially during the formative years, which makes them the child’s primary role models.
Though parents are primarily responsible for educating their children, circumstances do not always permit them to educate directly. Thus, parents may appropriately delegate some of their responsibility to other teachers, recognizing that delegation does not equate to abdication. Contrary to some views, parents do not relinquish their rights or responsibilities at the schoolhouse door. Parents maintain their prior right to direct their child’s education even in the face of State opposition; they also retain the responsibility for ensuring their children are properly taught.
The ultimate aim of education is to discover Truth. In other words, the purpose of learning is to know God, His works and His commands. When curricula remove this foundational premise, they remove the standard by which we judge what is right and wrong, true and false, functional and failing. If we hope to restore our communities, we as citizen statesmen must renew our commitment to scripturally consistent education whether provided through public, private or home schools.
The following resources are provided for informational use only and are not necessarily endorsed by the Great Lakes Justice Center. They should always be examined against Scripture, our primary resource. If you would like to add resources to this list, please contact us.
Books, Articles, & Journals
- Beauty for Truth’s Sake: The Re-Enchantment of Education, Stratford Caldecott
- Christian Education: Its Mandate and Mission, Ronald Arthur Horton
- Education, Christianity & the State, J. Gresham Machen
- Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Thinking Christians, Kelly Monroe Kullberg
- Journal of Christian Education
- The Journal of Education & Christian Belief
- “The Philosophy of Christian Education”, CLASS Homeschools
- Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education, Douglas Wilson
- Rediscovering Catechism: the Art of Equipping Covenant Children, Donald Van Dyken
- Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education, Douglas Wilson
- The Seven Laws of Teaching, John Milton Gregory
- Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey
Ministries, Organizations & Events
- American Association of Christian Schools
- Answers in Genesis
- Association of Christian Schools International
- Chi Alpha Campus Ministries
- Creation Moments
- Home School Legal Defense Association
- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
- Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics
- Stand to Reason
- Transforming Teachers
- The Veritas Forum
- Worldview Academy