Tag Archives: Tom Garfield

The Biblical Basis for Education

by Tom Garfield

Please don’t immediately or unconsciously reinterpret the title above as “The Basis for Biblical Education.” There is a profound difference. (Also please note that I didn’t say “The Biblical Basis for Classical Education,” even though, without much effort I think that argument can be made, but that’s not my point here.)

So, what’s the difference? As always, it comes down to what we believe about the world. If we believe that ‘knowledge’, i.e. all the stuff we all need to learn, is somehow neutral, then Christians should just take a number and wait their turn for presenting a case for “Christian” education. However, if Genesis 1:1 is true — God really did speak the heavens and earth into existence — well, that changes everything. Literally every thing. Many years ago I was asked by a friend who was a university education professor to speak to his beginning education class. He was a Christian and knew what I did for a living, so when he said I had carte blanche on what I’d say, I was delighted. Continue reading

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The (Often Ignored) Prerequisite to a Good Education

by Tom Garfield

Slowly and weightily, Pa said, “Miss Wilder, we want you to know that the school board stands with you to keep order in this school.” He looked sternly over the whole room. “All you scholars must obey Miss Wilder, behave yourselves, and learn your lessons. We want a good school, and we are going to have it.” When Pa spoke like that, he meant what he said, and it would happen. (Little Town On the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

“And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

The above verse is often used by Christian educators, and rightly so, to demonstrate God’s view of the kind of instruction children are supposed to receive, that is, a completely God-centered one. What isn’t pointed out often enough from this verse is to whom the imperative is given, that is, the father. Continue reading

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The Lost Crusade

by Tom Garfield

For more on Classical Education see Tom’s book, Dear Parents: Communicating the Christian and Classical Vision to Families.

Without doubt there was anguish. No parent with a heart of flesh could have borne their decision without much fear and trepidation. But the purpose was one with a higher calling – for most it was regarded it as “the will of God.” Therefore, though the parting was more tearful than joyful, especially for the mothers, the children went forth. The older ones, that is, those twelve years old and above, assured their parents that they would look out for the “little ones.” So, they marched off, the older ones herding the younger ones in groups of a dozen or more, their heads high, proud that their mission was one that God would undoubtedly bless. From across the entire country, hundreds of children, with their parents’ heart-rending acquiescence, responded to the call.

Continue reading

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