Yesterday I sent up a little post about Christians pursuing education, which provoked some strongly-felt commentary. Rather than add my own comment to the tail of the other comments, I’m publishing my comment as a new post, so that it will gain more exposure, and thus more weight, than the comment you left. Just kidding. Sort of.
But about the education question. I like to think, however vainly, that my situation is slightly unique:
- I was home-schooled. [ka-boom]
- My parents are brilliant, professorial types (not your typical cross-eyed backwoodsman shack-schoolers who walk with a lurching motion, tobacco and KJ Bible stuffed firmly in their jeans pockets).
- I got my BA via an assortment of secular colleges.
- Now I’m at seminary.
- And I substitute teach at our local high schools.
The educational view from where I stand is…interesting. Here are a few propositions for your consideration.
- Education, as suggested by Michael Spencer, is good, because God made this world and thought it was good, and it’s therefore good to know things about this good world. (Note my positive tone here.)
- However, education is not a value-neutral proposition. It takes place somewhere and via methods. Therefore we’re discussing not only the quality and breadth of knowledge available, but the context in which this knowledge is imbibed by voracious students hungry to learn. (Heh heh.)
- Therefore, I find it a little shortsighted to say, flat out: “secular education is better” or “home schooling is better.” Other issues need to be put on the table.
- I.e., some parents are awful teachers and some kids are horrible learners. Some teachers are pitifully ineffective and some learning environments facilitate anything but. Each context has innate weaknesses.
- Moreover, as Christians, the glory of Christ and the furtherance of the gospel can’t be divorced from the question of education. Questions of quality and locality need to be sized up within this matrix.
I’m not trying to outline a philosophy of education here, or even say what “I think” people should do. I’m merely pointing out that the question of where/how to get smart is nuanced, not a no-brainer. If someone wants to learn, he/she will. (Ultimately, learning has always been more a question of exertion than location.)