An Effective Educational System – A Christian Perspective
Edwin C. Darden, in an article entitled “Do as they say: It’s the law” (Phi Delta Kappan, May 2013), describes how the job of teachers in American public schools today is very delicate. He also explains how dangerous it is for the teachers to disobey directives given by the school authorities. Darden observes that in action movies, defiance is portrayed as a virtue. The fearless hero usually disobeys a direct order, proceeds to save the day, and is applauded for bravery, creativity, and rebelling against the limited vision of dimwitted superiors.
With a great disappointment Darden finds out that in real life insubordination at work is rarely celebrated and often punished. To him, that assumption is both logical and reasonable. He discovers that public school districts have the legal right as employers to expect workers will faithfully comply with management directives. Refusing a direct command, according to Darden can yield disciplinary consequences, a job transfer, or even dismissal.
Moreover, in order to drive his point home, Darden narrates some incidents where some teachers protested, and refused to carry out the directives that ordered them to administer state standardized tests to their students. The teachers claimed that the tests did not work out well as they had expected. They further complained that the tests did not cultivate the type of thinking they needed, and did not even bring in the resources that were needed to make their students successful. This is frustrating indeed. John Dewey and the other theorists of progressivism would surely disagree with these teachers. They would inform them that this is a new way of learning, and if the teachers had got enough higher education they would have understood it and be cooperated in administering the tests. What an insult! Besides, the teachers would need to do as they are instructed because it is the law.
Darden confirms that the state and school authorities were not pleased with these disobedient teachers; some of them were suspended for ten days without pay for insubordination, others were probably punished in different ways. Actually, you cannot just get away scot free by disobeying the law. This is the bone of contention here. The states authorities and these modern educators keep on saying that it is the law, the teachers must teach the students by using the new method of learning they have introduced into the school system otherwise the defiant teachers will face the consequences. The question is this: As Christian educators do we have ways to help our children get away from the grip of these theorists of progressivism? Yes, we have. I would like to suggest two ways.
The first way is the establishment of Christian schools. Christian educators in this nation should make up their minds and pull out from public schools, and establish their own private schools. The schools where traditional method of learning that rests on Biblical principles will be used for teaching, and the fear of God will be the core value to form character in our children. The Christian schools should make their tuition fees low and affordable for the parents. Expectedly, the parents will withdraw their children from public schools, and bring them to the Christian schools. That is the time the Christian educators can have peace of mind to teach effectively in our Christian schools. And the Christian teachers shall joyfully confess before the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ that they tried and helped the American children out of the ungodly system of education they found themselves (Rom. 14: 10; Matt. 25: 34-40).
Secondly, we should engage ourselves in prayers. Did I hear you saying, prayers? Yes, prayers. I believe this is the only way to save other Christian children in our public schools that their parents cannot afford the payment of tuition fees in Christian schools. Christians usually confess that prayers change things (Mark 11: 24). And that is true. But how many times have we gathered together as Christians in harmony and prayed for the American public educational system? Not quite often. If we don’t pray as Christians many ungodly activities will be happening in this nation, and we will not be able to do anything about them. It was because of our cold and not vibrant prayer life in the recent past, the progressivism theorists got entrance into our educational system.
It is our responsibility to keep this country a Christian nation as it used to be. To me, it is as if the progressivism theorists are asking Christians: “Where is your God?” (Ps. 115: 2). No one dares to challenge our God, and lives to tell the story; Goliath certainly confirms this (1 Sam. 17: 10, 48-51). In order to flush progressivism out of our public educational system we have to pray continuously and persistently until the Lord Jesus Christ answers our prayers. The Scriptures says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5: 16). Today in America, progressivism has legal backing; that position can be changed by the power of prayers. Daniel prayed and the constitution of the nation of Babylon was amended (Dan. 6: 26). There is nothing impossible for our God to do (Luke 1: 37). We have enormous power to turn the table around, so let’s make it use of it (Eph. 3: 20).
When the Lord eventually answers our prayers, and the American constitution is amended, and it proclaims that the traditional method of learning with Biblical principles should be the acceptable and legal method of learning in our Public schools; then the Christians will be bold and tell the progressivism theorists, teachers, supporters of progressivism, and non-Christians alike: “Do as they say: It’s the law”. The table is triumphantly turned around. Praise the Lord!
Darden, Edwin C. (2013). “Do as they say: It’s the law”. Phi Delta Kappan (May 2013): 68-69.
All Scriptures quoted above are from King James Version Bible.
Thanks for this wonderful article. I teach Head Start pre-school and I go early so I can pray for the kids. Many times I touch each picture over their coat hook and pray individually for all.
I don't know much about new methods you mentioned so felt very informed through your article.
Here are a few minor things I founds:
- Christian children in our public schools (where?) - 6th paragraph
-let's make (omit'it')use of it - 2nd to last paragraph.
Thanks for reviewing my article, it is much appreciated. Keep up the good work! LaVonne