Once Upon a Time, Schools Had a Higher Calling
by Niki Turner
It's hard to imagine a world without schools. Elementary, middle, and high schools. Parochial schools. Christian schools. Alternative schools. Home schools. Charter schools. Virtual schools. Boarding schools. Public schools. Private schools, etc.
The idea of providing public access to education is thought to have originated with Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. But for centuries, getting a basic education in reading, writing, and arithmetic was a privilege reserved for the wealthy. In some places around the world, particularly for the impoverished, the female, and those living under repressive governmental or religious regimes, going to school is a sought-after dream, not the torture many American kids consider it to be.
|Plato and Aristotle, painting by|
Raphael. via WikiCommons
It might not be as obvious today, but the effect of ignorance and a lack of education still produces the same results. Think about it ... the majority of reasonably well-educated people do not believe the headlines about alien babies and other fluff on those supermarket tabloids. The better educated someone is, the less likely a person is to be tricked. If you can't add, how will you know if you've been overcharged at the market? If you have no idea about the scientific principles at work in the human body, you'll buy a case of "snake oil" to cure what ails you.
My, how things have changed! One principle, however, remains the same: a knowledge of truth is a safeguard against deception (and the deceiver). Truth originates from one place and one place only, our Creator. Many of us now educate our children at home to establish them in the knowledge of the truth before they enter the world on their own. Others take the time and care to instruct their children at home in the knowledge of Scripture even while their children learn basic facts in public or private school settings.
No matter how we embrace our educational philosophy, it's crucial that we all continue to educate ourselves, to seek truth in the midst of conflicting facts and ideas, lest we fall prey to that most heinous of Satanic tools: deception bred from ignorance.