Friday, July 11, 2008

M.E.N.T.O.R.

Meaningful Education Needs To be Obtained through Relationship.

How many of you parents have said something in the heat of anger, only to hear your toddler repeat it a few hours later? The maxims are everywhere: “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” etc.

There is a reason that modeling and imitation are such important forms of learning. Christ washed His disciples’ feet and then said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:1-17).

Our children see what we do when we spend time with them, and the behavior we model for them must be worth emulating. See 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7. Paul explains the sacrifice it takes to be a good model to those who are younger in the faith in 2 Thessalonians 3. Sacrifice is key.

In Building the Christian Academy (2001), Arthur Holmes tells us about the school in third-century Alexandria, where a single teacher would take a handful of youths and develop a deep relationship. They would continue the discipleship their parents had begun.

For over two centuries, Americans began and ended their day with family devotions. That meant someone in the family knew how to read, so they were capable of teaching the rest how to read the Bible. Now we have whole families that never read together.

A parent’s role is to actively pursue the godly upbringing of their children. Dr. James Dobson’s book and video Bringing Up Boys gives a detailed account of the statistics about modern boys whose fathers have abandoned instruction in the things of God. He says 25% of American boys over five years old never see their biological fathers.

Contemporary writers on education echo the need for relationship in education. Posts on Edwize and the Education Policy Blog relate news stories about students devastated by the loss of a teacher. According to SchoolsMatter, "Parents trust the judgment of their child’s teachers above all other measures of student or school success."

Regardless of our views on education, we all innately recognize that learning occurs in relationship. Ultimately, children learn from teachers, not from special curriculum and expensive equipment.

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