educators usually agree on the following.
are a gift from God.
are commanded to train their children for God.
education is for the individual, not for the state.
should have the opportunity to be educated.
education of the earliest Hebrews centered around the family.
The notion of the state is almost unknown - God is the real
king, while the perfect man is pious and virtuous, capable
of attaining the ideal traced by God himself in these terms
- Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy (Lev.
child, then, was to become the faithful servant of Jehovah.
To this end it was not needful that he should be learned,
but only that he should know God's laws and ordinances.
These were first taught by the oral communication and instructive
example of the parents. Fathers also taught their children
the nation's history and the great events that had marked
the destiny of the people of God.
discipline given to children was unwavering in firmness,
proven by many passages in the Bible. Some say it was too
harsh, and yet children grew in character and were kept
from evil in learning the fear of the Lord. It was Almighty
God who was to be pleased, not "almighty child." Today we
are too quick to avoid offending the child, and the modern-day,
child-rights advocates, while God and his perfect parenting
patterns are often being given second place. "For the wisdom
of this world is foolishness with God . . ." (1 Cor. 3:19)
time of Christ, Jewish boys entered school at the age of
six. They were taught reading, writing, a little of natural
history and a great deal of geometry and astronomy. Naturally,
the Bible was the first book put in their hands. The master
interspersed moral lessons with the teaching of reading
and made a special effort to secure a correct pronunciation.
He multiplied his explanations in order to make sure of
being understood, repeating his comments even to the four-hundredth
time if necessary. It seems that the methods were suggestive
and attractive and-at this time-the discipline relatively
Methods of the Master
references are from the book of Matthew, unless otherwise
Christ's most intimate teaching was reserved for those who
would be teaching others. Before beginning, and regularly
during His ministry, He prepared spiritually. We too begin
by sitting at His feet and receiving His special guidance.
taught everywhere. He modeled the command that was given
us specifically as parents to talk of them when thou sittest
in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when
thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deut. 6:7). His
method was personal dialog, but sometimes-as with large
groups-the Master used the "lecture" method. He read aloud
(in the temple) and used the Word. When Jesus had ended
these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the
he opened His mouth, truth after truth flowed out in streams
of living water. We can also speak with wisdom and authority
if we have spent time in God's Word. He didn't mind being
interrupted (9:18,19) and often was, by questions that led
to further teaching and discussion (12:38-45). He also,
by questioning, stirred His hearers to deep thought (11:7-14).
He made sure His listeners understood His teaching (13:51)
and the value of their learning (13:53). His teaching was
keyed to the comprehension of the listener-in His conversation
with the learned Nicodemus, He plunged at once into the
most profound doctrines; when He talked with the Samaritan
woman, His approach to the truth was most simple and gradual.
He didn't hesitate to correct and was stern when necessary
but always spoke truth and righteousness. Even in sternness,
His motive was love (12:34). Although His was the ideal
pedagogy, we can also learn from some of history's other
its dogmas, by its concept of the equality of all human
creatures, by its spirit of charity-introduced new elements
into the conscience and gave a powerful impetus to the moral
education of men. Christianity raised the poor and disinherited
from their condition of misery and promised them the same
instruction. The essence of equal rights for all is contained
in the doctrine of Christianity.
rejected a corrupt and perverse world.
early Christians came to a common hatred of classical literature
and pagan religion. How could they receive with sympathy
the literary and scientific inheritance of a society whose
morals they hated? The Christian was detached from the commonwealth
of man, to enter into the commonwealth of God. He must break
with a corrupt and perverse world.
known for his Paradise Lost, Milton was already an accomplished
scholar at the age of fifteen. Later in life he wrote a
tract on educational reform. The opening statement of this
work implies that the educator serves for "the love of God
and of mankind." The teacher molds human nature by "knowledge
of God, love to God and hence imitation of God, until we
become like God."
felt that being taught to appear to know was a root of all
falsehood in life, society and professions. Today we have
the deception of "teaching to the test" by teachers and
cramming for tests by students, wherein knowledge departs
when the test is completed.
knowledge of words is best obtained by the early knowledge
of things. The knowledge of things begins when the parent
points out and names objects as the baby is taught to speak.
(literature) records the experience and traditions of other
people and times and is how we acquire all information.
Begin educating with interesting books that invite study,
provoke thought and encourage virtue.
with delightful books, the teacher should provide careful
instruction and explanation in order to stimulate love for
learning and willful obedience. Teaching should arouse thought
and exercise memory. If what is studied fails to become
the property of the mind, learning is in vain.
times tables and other facts should be reviewed.
over the same subject matter in greater depth. This is also
suggested in Easy Homeschooling Techniques and also in The
should be part of every day studies.
should be given to the study of the Scriptures. A habitual
devotional time is crucial. Giving God unhurried time will
honor Him as the Highest and instill honor for Him and his
Word in your children.
studied should begin with the easy but be thoroughly learned.
not force "the empty wits of children to compose themes
and essays" on subjects of which they know nothing.
of all, incite to virtue and to a desire to make a mark
in their lifetime and beyond.
should be taught to despise bad character.
parents' good example readily motivates the young child
with a desire for doing right, because children want to
be just like their parents.
should produce well-informed and moral citizens.
is the result of proper and Biblical training. The Word
shows what is required and instills all the proper character
traits by the its inherent power. Using the Bible first
and foremost will enable our children to be stellar students,
educated adults, and responsible citizens.
by Milton extracted from John Gill's Systems of Education
(Boston: D.C. Heath 1886) and those by Locke from History
of Education (Philadelphia: Lippencott, 1909) by E. L. Kemp