I Might Be a Joke, But My Major Isn’t
As the joke my brother tells goes, “how do you get a history major off your doorstep? Pay him for the pizza!” He is currently pursuing a lucrative career in business management & administration, and, back in the day, I chose to be a history major; which is certainly a less lucrative enterprise.
I heard on the radio a few months back that many school are electing to replace history class with courses that are more sensory and will actually prepare students for a life in the globalist & tech driven economy of the 21st century. As the thinking goes, no one can provide a curriculum that presents a cohesive history of past events, and it is always going to be lopsided (after all those who write the history textbooks control the perception of what happened).
But, as a history major, I would very much resent the idea of a wholesale disposal of historic instruction. I think vocational preparation is of great importance and would highly encourage a return to a master/apprentice model. And I suppose I might add that I would also very much like a dissolution of the entire behemoth of the Department of Education. The DMV should be enough of a reminder that government has no business overseeing the education of our children, nor do they have much skill in it.
Pass the Test, or Else I Don’t Get a Raise
However, the fundamental problem in the government educational system is that it teaches kids to pass tests, in order to get the school more federal funding. It has turned our children into merchandise rather than a heritage.
The biblical command to “remember” permeates the whole of scripture. Whole books of the Bible are historical in their genre. History is not a science, although many historians have sought to turn it into a science; unfortunately, the story of mankind isn’t as tidy as all that. The story we are in does not fit nicely into a spreadsheet, with analytics and data to quantify. As the saying goes, the number of shoelaces at the battle of waterloo doesn’t matter, who actually won the battle does.
So Not Cliché
This is not merely a reinforcement of the cliche about those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it (although that is true enough). What I am advocating is that, as Christians, we should be wary of any worldview that would seek to detach the present from the past. Those who seek to do so, are making a move for control of the future. The Christian faith is a faith which necessarily relies upon historicity.
Our story goes back to the first king and queen and their banishment from a garden, and their descendant who was God and man and saved the world through his crucifixion and resurrection! Should we neglect to teach what has happened in the past, the future will be rather bleak.
History informs us and shapes how we think about who we are, why we are here, and where we should be going. This comes back to the fact that only biblical Christianity can offer a coherent and united worldview, and that the primary role of education as a whole is to teach a child wisdom. You may have knowledge, but you may not have wisdom. Education’s aim should be to see a child come to maturity with a wealth of knowledge about the world in which we live, and wisdom as to how they ought to apply that knowledge.
This means that we will need to do better than just handing out multiple choice tests, and continue fighting for a Christ-centered worldview to be the standard and goal of our educational endeavors.