Thursday, May 14, 2009

The goal of education

For those still on the fence about whether or not homeschooling is right for their family, I ask you to seriously consider the beliefs of the late Richard Rorty, a modern American philosopher and devout atheist -- and then ask yourself, is his goal for education your goal?
The goal of education, said Rorty, is to help these youth “escape the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents..."

"When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank... You have to be educated in order to be ... a participant in our conversation ... So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours ...” Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 21-2.
Progressives (a fancy word for liberals) like to believe that public education is "neutral" on religion. Far from it. Further, his goal is definitely not my goal for education. I wrote more about why we educate here.

Homeschooling is the antidote to the dangerous philosophy of Rorty and other progressives and exactly why they seek to control it through increasing regulation, testing, and national standards.

And for those who are thinking that homeschooling might be their choice next school year, conventions are a great way to learn more. I'll be in Lansing, Michigan this weekend for the annual Michigan Home Educator's Convention. My husband and I will both be giving workshops and spending some time at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine booth. The Old Schoolhouse is giving away a tote bag fully of goodies to the first 100 people who stop by their booth. If you plan on coming to Lansing, we'd love to meet you.

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