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« Living with sacrifice | Main | ’The Wilberforce Agenda’ »

September 24, 2007

A Teaching Moment

Dear Sy,

Your ad hominem attack on Anne is quite disturbing to me. Please tell me how Anne went after your mother? 

Anne’s point was that the child was arguing with her but not responding to her command. At four, a child might do a dumb stunt like opening an umbrella in a moving car, but the child should also quickly respond to an urgent command too. Having raised two children myself, I know four-year-olds do know better! 

Let's get another thing straight: many, many students who attend teacher colleges today don't major in any subject but get a degree in teaching itself. For instance, my son Cameron had an English teacher who couldn’t write or spell. I used her notes as a supplemental teaching tool for him. 

Instead of focusing on actual subject material such as mathematics, English, history, etc., a lot of colleges have thrown out the wisdom of teaching students important subject matter such as how to spell, how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Thanks in large part to John Dewey, today’s teachers spend their days instructing their charges about self-esteem, social equity, and gender issues. Out goes any notion of teaching truths and facts based on a natural law or a higher law, and in come “teachers” who instruct students to make up their own rules despite the rightness or wrongness of them. 

So who has a higher view of the importance of teachers? I’d say people like Anne and me. We realize children are individuals made in the image of God and have a great capacity to learn and develop great talents. We also acknowledge that people are fallen and need correction. Good teachers will teach their students actual subject matter with its corresponding truths and facts; thus with each success over a period of years a student will develop a high sense of esteem. Further, those students will become a big asset to their family, community, and possibly nation or world.   

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That's why a lot of parents are either home schooling or sending their children to private schools. And they are statistically the cream of the crop. Discipline shows a child that you really love them


Teacher's colleges are worse than you imagine. Even many "Christian" ones.

Most of the poor teachers don't know any better than what they were taught, by those whom they were taught to believe were experts.

Those who do know better are restrained by district and NCLB rules to teach as they do, what they do, they have no choice, if they are going to teach.

High school teacher candidates are required to major in their subject. El-ed teachers major in el-ed.


Discipline isn't a simple polarity, I suspect.

I say that as one who has no children of his own, though I'd sure like a "full quiver".

In my experience, first as a child, and later working in day care, children, even young ones, respond well to being told why they shouldn't do something. That doesn't mean that they won't do it again, and that doesn't mean that there isn't a place for punishment. It also doesn't mean that there aren't those times where time is of the essence and life and limb are at stake and you have to have them stop -now-.

But the idea of discipline as simply submission to force, as might makes right, is not good discipline, and breeds rebellion, and I have indeed see this happen with the children of conservative parents. However, most conservative parents I know do not use "might makes right"

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