Ask The Principal

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Should middle school kids pick a major?

Picking majors in middle school. Yes, I've heard of such a thing. It wasn't that long ago that middle school did not exist. It wasn't that long ago that the concept of adolescence did not exist. Fathers apprenticed their sons or paid tutors, mothers trained their daughters in the art of keeping the home. Then came the industrial revolution. Everyone moves to the city, becomes illiterate and then godless. So an industrial revolution response to educating the masses is born sired by feminism and nurtured by modernism and humanism. Socialism kicks in because this new system of education is the perfect venue for it to reproduce and voila, you have a governor (Jeb Bush) running an education factory system trying to apprentice the boys and girls, usurping the father's role (usually by default) to "reform" an already failing system.

I am being overly simplistic, but the general idea is this; you have a production system and you want to produce items that will be good for the company, but...from a production methods standpoint you have a failed system. So you try to introduce some of what worked in the past but force it into parameters (defined by political correctness) that doom it to failure. Then to see if it works you test each widget (child) to see if the production methods are effective. If not, then you tweak the system, call it alternative ed, magnet school, charter school, etc. and find alternate methods of measuring that....well, I'm rambling. I really hadn't used my undergraduate degree in Industrial Management until I became a principal.

Educators and administrators follow what the latest hype is. There are genuinely inspirational and motivational leaders in education who do create a "successful" educational programs. They are the ones that foster an environment that comes closest to the “healthy nuclear family” (albeit according to a redefined model) They include in the language of their success the vernacular of what is currently politically correct and it is promoted to the forefront of the public education world by those in power who want to foster a "change" that benefits their worldview. Notoriety follows and so do copycats who really do want the best for the kids in their schools, but can't think through the pre-suppositional problems that doom it to failure. Sometimes it is research based and sometimes not. I was trained as a teacher in "whole language instruction" and we had kids that couldn't read. The whole state did that and we're still suffering for it. Then the big push in phonics and kids could decode like crazy but couldn't remember what they read or thought about it. You have waves of thought, methods, "reform" that tie into some things that are good, but are destined to failure because they lack the whole truth in some way or another.

The worst part about the whole thing is that it is the unions, teachers, and left leaning politicians that are fighting it. Not because it is failed, but because it does strangle their unbridled influence. It should be the parents responding by taking home their children and raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is the father that needs to take hold of his boy's education and allow choice within the boundary of demonstrated responsibility. It is the mother that needs to take hold of her daughter and raise her to have the rock-solid character that it takes to be a I Peter 3 woman. Both father and mother in a marriage covenant raising their children in the roles Godly wisdom and knowledge would dictate.

A father is a Christian (by God's grace) who is a carpenter, he raises his son to be a Christian (by God's grace) , who becomes a carpenter (or whatever his father guides him to be), even if he may not really like it, but his occupation doesn't make him what he is or fulfill him as a man, his God does. It really is just that simple, even if it isn't all that easy.


  • Here via Spunky's link to your new blog. Welcome to the blogosphere, and I look forward to reading your thoughts. We have already decided to pull our son out at the end of this year (he's finishing 8th grade) and homeschool for high school. This also necessitated my wife leaving her position as a special ed teacher in the public school. We are excited about trusting God, but it will obviously be some major changes.

    May God bless you as you write and continue to be salt and light. I've already got you in my Bloglines so I can stay up with your posts.

    God bless,
    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 12:26:00 PM  

  • Thanks for coming by Steve. I will definitely pray for you folks as you bring your son home to school. Your wife being a special ed teacher will have some stories :-). Special ed teachers are a special breed! I could post for a month on special ed issues in public school, but not this month :-)


    By Blogger The Principal, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 10:19:00 PM  

  • I'm here via Spunky's site as well ;o) I've enjoyed your posts and look forward to reading more of them.

    I'd be interested in hearing more about your experiences with the NEA. Did you happen to catch John Stossel's program "Stupid In America" that aired on 20/20 back in January? If you did, do you think their portrayl of the NEA was accurate?

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:51:00 AM  

  • Good for you.

    By Blogger Lady Lydia Speaks, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:19:00 PM  

  • Hi. I'm a veteran homeschooler, a grandmother. We were certainly mocked when I offered the concept of apprenticeship for our sons. We were told by many people it wasn't possible. Yet one became a radio announcer by walking into a radio station and asking to be taught. Another was taught a trade by asking a carpenter to teach him how to build a house. Yes, they DO do that today. You just have to ask.

    By Blogger Lady Lydia Speaks, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:23:00 PM  

  • Stumbled across your blog yesterday via a link from one of my daily reads. I have yet to figure out if my blog host allows trackbacks, so I thought I'd just drop you a comment and let you know that I put an excerpt from this post on my blog. The paragraph I pulled seems to speak along the same vein as the Christian Agrarian movement away from the industrial revolution, so I thought it was relevant enough to be put on a Homestead Blogger weblog.

    Then again, who ever said that anything on my blog is ever relevant? I digress. It's here, if you'd like to see it:

    By Anonymous CountryGoalie, at Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:22:00 AM  

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