Education versus Discipling

Seth Godin asks pointed questions about the objective of education on his podcast released today. Why do we learn? How do we learn?

I was curious about many scientific things as a youth. By high school age and learned completely free of school, I learned about circuits, wave forms, antennas, circuits to send radio waves, circuits to receive them. I was deep into the thought processes of Einstein’s theories of relativity, space/time, gravity. And some of the math that explained all of the above.

Unfortunately, none of that helped me in school.

Concurrently, I was reading Freud, St. John of the Cross, and much else in those genres. These again helped very little in my journey through school.

Except maybe for that time I should have grabbed the initiative in a university philosophy and religion class. The Rev. Dr. Professor H was lecturing on a topic. I raised my hand. “Didn’t he actually mean…” and proceeded to explain the theory and logic of a topic. Dr. H thereupon asked if I wished to teach the class. I should have said yes. It would have been more entertaining.

I don’t think I am that abnormal. Most of us learn much outside of school.

I thought about training disciples. Do we put kids in Christian schools so that they learn to sit quietly in the pews and listen uncritically to the person speaking? So that they are obedient regurgitaters of whatever is poured in?

Or perhaps we should look at how Jesus did it.

  • Give tips and stories to his students
  • Show by example how to act with other people—friend and foe
  • Show how to go off and pray
  • Show how to heal and care for people
  • Send them off to try for themselves then debrief them upon return

Discussion, teaching, do-it-yourself. Perhaps a good example for us to follow?

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