Restructuring Education

The Huffington Post “Obama Education Waiver Plan” of 8/10/2011 speaks of wavering parts of the No Child Left Behind program to modernize education. From my perspective, we can try to patch our education system through rigid standards and waivers, but the full potential of educating our children cannot be reached if we continue to apply an incomplete definition of education, as “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.”An “enduring” State is founded on culture, dominated by ideals, and motivated by service attained when its citizens have been raised with the personal commitment to develop a well-balanced personality, leading us to a companion definition for education:”The acquirement of skills, the pursuit of wisdom, a realization of self, and the attainment of spiritual values.”To achieve this definition, education must cultivate the three endowments of the human mind: intelligence, moral awareness and spiritual insight. Together, these endowments create the harmonious development of the human personality, and bring us the PURPOSE of education: to be fully empowered to contribute one’s best to the advancement of self and civilization. Through the development of intelligence we hone our skills and cultivate our reasoning and emotional abilities.What about moral awareness? Our expanding social structure has readily adapted to intellectual and scientific growth, but abounding technological achievements have eclipsed the moral ethics that the home institution once provided. And ethics is the external social mirror that faithfully reflects the inner development of the members of society.The home and family – the crowning glory of a long and arduous evolutionary struggle – is the natural social arena for the development of ethics: patience, altruism, forbearance and tolerance, all essential for peace and progress. Home ethics is one of civilization’s only hope for survival.And spiritual insight? Living faith is what empowers individuals to elevate morality to the spiritual levels of unselfish service. To constrain living faith in civil interaction is like removing the sails of a sailboat. It is wise to separate religious institutions from education and government, but it is true religion – the desire to find and know God – that organizes the human personality in an ascent to higher levels of love and devotion, of service and fellowship.The time is NOW to recognize that the educational concept and definition should include cultivation of the three endowments of the human mind; that modifications to our education system alone will not achieve the result we seek in our children without the edification of home life and the progressive force of living faith.