home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |
  An American Manifesto
Friday October 31, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

TOP NAV

Home

Blogs

Opeds

Articles

Bio

Contact

BOOK

Manifesto

Sample

Faith

Education

Mutual aid

Law

Books

BLOGS 14

Oct 2014

Sep 2014

Aug 2014

Jul 2014

Jun 2014

May 2014

Apr 2014

Mar 2014

Feb 2014

Jan 2014

BLOGS 13

Dec 2013

Nov 2013

Oct 2013

Sep 2013

Aug 2013

Jul 2013

Jun 2013

May 2013

Apr 2013

Mar 2013

Feb 2013

Jan 2013

BLOGS 12

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Oct 2012

Sep 2012

Aug 2012

Jul 2012

Jun 2012

May 2012

Apr 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

BLOGS 11

Dec 2011

Nov 2011

Oct 2011

Sep 2011

Aug 2011

Jul 2011

Jun 2011

May 2011

Apr 2011

Mar 2011

Feb 2011

Jan 2011

BLOGS 10

Dec 2010

Nov 2010

Oct 2010

Sep 2010

Aug 2010

Jul 2010

Jun 2010

May 2010

Apr 2010

Mar 2010

Feb 2010

Jan 2010

BLOGS 09

Dec 2009

Nov 2009

Oct 2009

Sep 2009

Aug 2009

Jul 2009

Jun 2009

May 2009

Apr 2009

Mar 2009

Feb 2009

Jan 2009

BLOGS 08

Dec 2008

Nov 2008

Oct 2008

Sep 2008

Aug 2008

Jul 2008

Jun 2008

May 2008

Apr 2008

Mar 2008

Feb 2008

Jan 2008

BLOGS 07

Dec 2007

Nov 2007

Oct 2007

Sep 2007

Aug 2007

Jul 2007

Jun 2007

May 2007

Apr 2007

Mar 2007

Feb 2007

Jan 2007

BLOGS 06

Dec 2006

Nov 2006

Oct 2006

Sep 2006

Aug 2006

Jul 2006

Jun 2006

May 2006

Apr 2006

Mar 2006

Feb 2006

Jan 2006

BLOGS 05

Dec 2005

Nov 2005

Oct 2005

Sep 2005

Aug 2005

Jul 2005

Jun 2005

May 2005

Apr 2005

Mar 2005

Feb 2005

Jan 2005

BLOGS 04

Dec 2004

The Road to the Middle Class: A Manifesto The Way of Faith

print view

The Way of Education

by Christopher Chantrill
January 01, 2005 at 5:18 am

|

EDUCATION is an essential traveler’s aid on the journey from country to city.  An old woman living in the Gobi desert nailed it when she told the National Geographic:

I only know eating, drinking, and tending animals.  This is what my parents did.  Their parents.  The young people today, once they leave the [Gobi], they never return.  I don’t blame them.  The life of herding is coming to an end.  Work in cities is the future.

The reason the young people of the Gobi don’t return is that they all go to boarding school from first to ninth grade, only returning home in the summer.  Nine years of boarding school education prepares them for life in the city.  So they join the great trek.

Education is also important to the earnest churchgoer in an American sriver suburb.  Said Mary Johnston of Rock Hill, South Carolina, to a Washington Post reporter in 2000: “I want my children to go to the best schools, first grade through college.”

Modern opinion about education assumes a Year Zero some time in the mid-nineteenth century, when the activists for modern universal education began their agitation for free government schools.  The time before Year Zero is treated as prehistoric, an embarrassment of Ragged Schools, one-room schoolhouses, Dotheboys Hall and Wackford Squeers, and opportunity denied to the poor.  In fact, of course, education has had a long and checkered history over thousands of years. Athens, for instance, had a free market in education, and Sparta had a government monopoly.

In the United States, mass education has been accepted from the earliest days of the colonies and literacy has always been high.  In 1787, free male adult literacy was estimated at about 65 percent, and in the census of 1850 literacy was reported as 90 percent.  In colonial times, education was supported with a mixture of private and public funding.  In smaller towns, “district schools” financed by public and private funds were common.  Some poorer children got to attend for free, but most parents paid fees for their children to attend.

In England literacy was not as widespread as in the United States, for the rulers preferred that the lower orders remained illiterate.  However, according to E.G. West, literacy increased steadily from the beginning of the nineteenth century as the lower orders sought out education for their children in defiance of their rulers.    In 1813 James Mill (father of John Stuart Mill) wrote of “the rapid progress which the love of education is making among the lower orders in England.”  He noted that

There is hardly a village that has not something of a school; and not many children of either sex who are not taught more or less, reading and writing.  We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.

Henry Brougham conducted surveys of schools in 1820 and 1828, and found that the numbers in schools had doubled in one decade.  Literacy in England increased steadily until government education was legislated in 1870.

Schools exist to teach children things that their parents can’t teach them.   For the peasant, school gives his children a chance to make it in the city.  For the illiterate costermonger in Victorian London, it gives his sons the chance to move off the street and sell something that needs a bit of book-learning and bookkeeping.  For the earnest churchgoer in an American striver suburb it gives her children the chance to join the professional classes in the big city for whom life is not a grim struggle but a creative adventure, not meat-and-potatoes but nouvelle cuisine. Education, then, is all about embourgeoisment, the making of a citizen, one who lives and works in the city.

It seems that everyone in the modern era, from the “lower orders” of industrial Britain to the illiterate grandmother in the Gobi desert, understands the value of education for their children.  It is curious that we should have developed a system of educational compulsion that treats every parent as a feckless ignoramus that must be dragooned into sending their children to school and compelled through taxation to pay for it. It isn’t as though there is a free-rider problem in education.  Parents everywhere want their children to thrive and will sacrifice for them.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

print view

To comment on this article at American Thinker click here.

To email the author, click here.

 

 TAGS


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


mysql close

 

©2012 Christopher Chantrill