Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leadership Education-How Important is it to Read Great Books?

How important is it to read great books?

Very important, I think most of you would say but how many of us would say it is imperative to read great books... even to make a bold enough statement that unless you read great classics you are not teaching your children to think, the first and
foremost goal of our home school.

Oliver DeMille explains in his most excellent book, A Thomas Jefferson Education that there are three types of education.

1. The Conveyor Belt Education is what we all know oh so well because we experienced it in our own childhood. We went to public school. It teaches children what to think and prepares them to become employees. Content based public education was an invention of the industrial age and existed to teach the poor so they could land a job. Their education was set up like a factory, everyone in the class gets the same education at the same age from the same textbooks and they are graded and tested based upon the same scale regardless of individual talents, goals, giftings, interests and personal mission. Conformity was the intent and the successful outcome. Those in power could be assured that the successful graduates would think the way they wanted them to think. The goals of the conveyor belt education were mostly social, NOT academic because the intent was to produce people who would fit into the system. NOT thinkers, doers. Those who would do as they were told. Does this sound familiar?

2. Professional Education prepares professionals like doctors, attorneys, those with Masters, etc. These specialists are created to know when to think. It still is content based but it gives the students a strategy for thinking in different types of situations. Granted professional education is a higher level than public education as only the top 10-15% are usually allowed into these programs. Unfortunately, most of the Leaders in America have been trained as professionals and specialists and not leaders.

3. Leadership Education raises thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and statesman by teaching them how to think. Teaching children to think is highly discouraged by either of the two previous types of education. If they were taught to think in these systems they would soon abandon the system as being full of inadequacies and inconsistencies.

One of the best ways to teach children how to think is to meld mentoring with allowing them to tap into the thoughts of the great minds throughout history by reading the writings of those great minds. Mentoring and discipling was intended by God to be provided by the parents or at least directly overseen by parents and carries quite a responsibility with it. But whoever said parenting was easy? The greatest challenge is to break out from our own {lack of true) education and become thinkers in our own right, then we can turn and mentor our own children.

Next time we will be discussing the methods of mentoring children and how we can and must jump off our own conveyor belt in order to lead our children to be great thinkers!

Until next time, keep raising your leaders, entrepreneurs and statesman at home.

Check out this new addition to our recommended reading list,
A'>A Thomas Jefferson Education

Janet Langford

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