Category: Education

Educational Philosophy: Man as Animal

Meet Edward Thorndike, a follower of John Dewey, of whom I wrote a couple days ago. Thorndike also had a major influence on American education. His contribution was to take behaviorist psychology, which looked upon man as simply a higher form of animal, and apply it to his educational philosophy. He concluded that because man was just an animal, and not a unique creation made in the image of God, he should be treated as an animal. Rats were put… Read more »

The Dewey Factor (Part II)

Yesterday, I showed how John Dewey, the “Father of Progressive Education,” was one of the authors and signers of the Humanist Manifesto, a blatantly antichristian document. Today, let’s go a little further. Dewey’s educational philosophy can be summarized in four points, as follows: There is no such thing as an eternal truth. What happens when this is the starting point for education? You are left in a vacuum, morally and spiritually. Education should be child-centered. This sounds good. After all,… Read more »

The Dewey Factor (Part I)

Let’s take a break from purely political anaysis today. Instead, let’s look at one of the reasons we are where we are as a nation, and why some of our political problems exist. To do so, we need to recognize what has happened to our education system over the past 100+ years. We have to start with John Dewey, who has earned the title “Father of Progressive Education.” That “progressive” label is almost always poison. What were Dewey’s contributions to… Read more »

Palin, Intellectualism, and the "Degree Fetish"

What does an Ivy League education get you? I’m not talking about jobs. I’m focusing now on what happens to a person when he receives this prestigious education. Michael Knox Beran—lawyer, author, and commentator—has an essay in National Review that asks the question. Yet the question didn’t arise from nothing; he took his cue from Sarah Palin. When questioned by Bill O’Reilly on whether she was intellectual enough to be a leader, Palin commented, “I believe that I am because… Read more »

Education's Historic Shift (Part VII)

Protestant evangelicals, toward the middle of the nineteenth century, sought to set up state-controlled education because they thought they would be the ones to control it, and then be able to keep America fundamentally Protestant in spite of the new Catholic immigration. They looked for a model for how to do this—and they found it. In order to find it, they had to travel to Europe to a country called Prussia, which forms the nucleus of modern-day Germany. Prussia, at… Read more »

Education's Historic Shift (Part VI)

A couple weeks ago, I started a history of the shift in education in America from private to government schools. I said there were three groups pushing for this change. The first group was Unitarians, who denied the Trinity and sought to replace church education with education dictated by government. They also believed that education was the answer for all societal ills. The second group was the Owenites, followers of Robert Owen, a communist utopian who emigrated from Britain to… Read more »

Education's Historic Shift (Part V)

In a previous post, I pointed out a second group in the nineteenth century that was bent on setting up government-controlled education for its own ideological purposes. Led by Robert Owen, this group sought to educate Americans out of their belief in private property and free enterprise. They set up the Workingmen’s Party to achieve their goal. One of the party’s adherents was Orestes Brownson. Later in life, he defected from the party and his old beliefs, and turned to… Read more »