Saturday, November 27

On Education, Society, and Romans 5:3-4

Our modern educational system thinks that self-esteem needs to be taught. In our modern schools, self-esteem is taught, not the old fashioned way, by through mastery of difficult skills, but by always rewarding success or failure with praise. This is a part our character development teaching in our schools. There are a number of flaws in this assumption which may go far to explain some directions our society has been heading.

We all want our children to have "character". The question is, how to achieve this? Paul tells us (Romans 5:3-4):
..., because we know suffering produces
perseverance, perseverance character; and character hope.
Is this how our schools teach character. Well, no. But it is how the Marine Corp teaches it for example. It is how our forefathers got it. Our modern American society has a dearth of suffering, for we are rarely hungry, cold, or in pain. We should not be surprised that our modern culture lacks demonstrates such a shallow nature.

On a related issue, lack of character and not understanding its source explains why the liberal half of society, feels strongly that abstinence programs won't work. They're right if the people they give their message to don't have much in the way of character. After all, if you've never denied yourself anything in other sectors of you life (except if perchance you can't afford it), why should sex be any different. And after all, sex is free (and if think abortion is ok, it doesn't even have consequences). However, that just underlines the need to teach character to our youth. Now we just have to come up with some good ways how to accomplish these ends, and start pushing for them.

How then, would we want our schools (if indeed we want character lessons to be taught in school at all) to teach character, which as we have learned, requires discomfort (suffering). Actually, how indeed should we as parents put our children into such situations with the end goal of inculcating character? Now much as I dislike lambasting modern culture without suggesting an alternative I have none to offer now.

I think this question will have to be deferred to a later post. However, if you gentle reader have any good ideas, drop a comment. I'll collect, comment, and put them into that later post.