What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Notes: The Seven Lesson School Teacher

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I found this article and it intrigued me, to say the least. I am fascinated that a man awarded as New York State Teacher of the year, could write such a powerful and profound speech.

While homeschooling is often a religious choice, it is important to note that religion ain't all there is to it. This article doesn't even mention homeschooling, so don't put this out of your head thinking it is more homeschool mumbo-jumbo. It isn't.

If you homeschool- you will learn something. If you don't homeschool- You will learn something.

The Seven Lesson School Teacher


Terri said...

Great article! Even though I love the Lord, most of why I homeschool has more to do with Mr. Gatto's points then religion.

abigail said...

I remember John asking me to read this speech of Mr. Gatto's while I was teaching high school English that first year. He gave it as his acceptance speech when he accepted the NYS Teacher of the Year award (he wasn't awarded the National Teacher award, though not through lack of merit). I would have loved to see the expressions on the educators that were present as they listened!

I then went on to read more of his writings. It was depressing that year to recognize so easily so much of what he speaks about-- in the school system at large, in other teachers, in MYSELF as a teacher. Most of my days in school were spent doing exactly as he chronicles, despite the fact that I wanted desperately to do and be otherwise. The system that I and the students were shaped in made it impossible to do and be otherwise. It's sad that at the well-respected Christian college where I received my "teacher training" (which was laughable), we read excerpts from the writings of John Dewey (the undisputed Father of American Education), while in other parts of Dewey's same writings, he speaks very openly about his goals in establishing the Prussian model of education here in America. One such goal? Pliable, obedient citizens whom the country could call upon to do exactly as it asks, without question or complaint. A society that ran smoothly and efficiently. Teaching students to function without the "crutch" of traditional religion. Sound like the world around 1940 to you?!?

It's interesting that Mr. Gatto is not a Christian and that his observations of the disease of current public education can be applied to anyone-- followers of Christ, secular humanists, atheists, you name it. I hope this helps greater numbers of people rally together in the same cause, because the children of this country need it so badly.

Incidentally, his observations are also applicable to nearly all Christian schools, too, as nearly all of them fashion themselves on the same model of education on which public education rests. I went to typical Christian schools for my thirteen years of pre-collegiate education, and his condemnations should shake Christian schools toward the truth, too. Something needs to be done differently, and at this point, homeschooling is the most effective way of doing it.

I write all this, of course, not even touching on the single most important aspect of helping our children grow-- that they grow in knowledge of and love toward our Lord, which I think everyone can agree the public school system will only war against.

For those not familiar with Mr. Gatto's writings and criticism, here's a short 8-page introduction to some of them.

abigail said...

p.s. Thanks for not barring me from the occasional hijacking of comments section.

Maybe someone could teach me to communicate with less hot air...?
Naaaw, let's not reach for the impossible.

Rebecca said...

au contraire Abby. Your comment is invaluable and well spoken. I was way too lazy yesterday to write any of that and hoped people would just draw the same conclusions. Glad it was written out, if not by my own fingers.

Ps. Thanks for correcting my mistake. I HATE it when I don't know what I am talking about.

PPS. Thanks for the links-I look forawrd to reading them!

PPS. AS bad as this sounds and will certainly be taken wrongly: the fact that He is a non-Christian actually works to the advantage of the homeschool movement, because, as you said: these truths are applicable to anyone educated in a public setting and his thoughts can't be disregarded as soapboxing from Homeschooling Freaks of Nature. ;-)

Rebecca said...

Wow Abby. I really appreciate those links. That speech was pretty incredible. I am sort of in shock. As you said- I would have loved to have seen the faces of those listeners and I would have loved to been able to give him a standing ovation. What a brave man to speak so boldly. I'm going to go chew on it a bit.

Thanks again.

abigail said...

At least John Dewey is kind of related...

I'm an idiot and my "laughable" teacher training didn't even stick long enough for me to avoid typing JOHN DEWEY (!!!!) instead of Horace Mann.

Ha! And I'm teaching my children....YIKES!


I must hang out with too many (okay, one) librarian types.

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting article. Blessings!

Michelle said...

I remember reading a book of his while I was pregnant with Matthew. Gatto is the reason I became interested in homeschooling. I will definitely check out all those articles!