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Friday, December 3, 2010

Why Education Can't Save Us

"I hate it!" she yells, not at me by in my direction. "I hate that logic can't win."

We'd spent the last two hours discussing the Bible with a couple from a different religious persuasion. The time had gone well--overall--but now that they were gone we were decompressing and things were tense. It was bad. But we were winding down.

The idea that logic can't win reminded me of Seth Godin's blog post about getting people to know what you know. He states: It won't help.

Raw information, a downloaded education, and even better logic all break down at the point of presuppositions. We can't get to truth through reason alone because we lack knowledge, understanding and a clear view of everything. Reason is great. Education is important. But it can't save us. You don't even need to step outside Orthodox Christianity to see that smart people, sincerely devoted to following Christ, come to some really different views on things.

So if education can't save us, what's the point? Put in a way that's more relevant to what I do promoting a homeschool curriculum provider: If education can't ensure we win, what makes a great curriculum?

Here are the top 3 things that first popped into my head:
  1. A great curriculum helps you think through your presuppositions. Why do you believe as you do? What about this idea compels you? What underlying assumptions are you making? As you answer those questions, you will be better able to untangle the unspoken assumptions of others.
  2. A great curriculum encourages you to learn more. There is always more to learn, and a life-long pursuit of learning opens us up to wonders of the world around us. We can tackle difficult and debated subjects with joy.
  3. A great curriculum lets you see how others have thought about the same things and come to different conclusions. Looking back through history and seeing the outplay of ideas gives us a glimpse into truth. Hindsight allows us see how things turn out, which hints at the underlying reality.

Education can't save us. But a great education is one that is built on a love of learning and an examination of the past which can help us walk better into the future. Those are all things I see in Sonlight's homeschool curriculum.

What do you see as the purpose of education? What makes a great lesson/curriculum/study?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester


Unknown said...

Education is only one part of our mission as parents. Our family mission statement is "Together we discover, nurture, and fulfill God's call on our lives." Worthwhile learning is one pillar. So is authentic worship, loving relationships, and excellent life experiences. Each one can't stand on its own, each one is necessary.

The Reader said...

A great curriculum gives you the tools you need to keep learning on your own. In other words, teaches you how to learn, how to dig for truth, how to examine both (all) sides of an issue and reach your own conclusions. How to investigate, where to go for the answers, etc. So that later, in real life, when you find you know nothing about a topic, you know how to learn, how to educate yourself.

A great curriculum does not just teach you facts. It helps you learn how to learn.

Sonlight is most definitely a great curriculum. (says the girl with 9 years experience using SL...)

Luke Holzmann said...

Great point, Jeff! One reason education can't save us is that we are more than just heads to be filled with information.

Thanks, Reader <smile>. Thank you very much!



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Luke Holzmann
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