Is Mere Education Enough?
No politician can hope for any chance at the polls with extolling education as the number
one priority. Our current chief executive, for example, would like to be known as the
education president. What seems to be lost in this rush to add billions to education is the
end result. What kind of students are we trying to produce? No business would ever
think of investing billions in a process with little thought as to the quality of the product.
If just education were thought to be enough, i.e. more and better qualified teachers, better
school buildings, smaller class size, higher quality instructional materials, more thorough
testing etc., we have missed the point. We have swallowed the notion that these things in
and of themselves will automatically produce better citizens and a higher level of culture.
Merely better education has never been enough. Columbine is a poignant example. The
perpetrators were well-educated kids from good neighborhoods gifted with the best of
teachers and facilities, but they were motivated to destroy life and property by that which
they chose to fill their minds. Another more notable example is Nazi Germany the
epitome of advanced education which produced amazing scientific and technological
advancements. If mere education were enough, then Nazi Germany should have led the
way to produce a better society and a better world.
Learning has to have some kind of ultimately good motivation behind it, or it can be used
as a tool for the greatest evil as in the case of Nazi Germany. Because our laws have
reduced education to a state of vacuous motivation reduced to the level of political
correctness, all we can say to our students is something like this: You need to be honest,
law-abiding, hard-working, cooperative and well-adjusted etc. If they ask why, we can
only respond with the lame answer, Well, it would sure be nice if you did act that way.
Not much of a motivation.
The why question takes us back to bedrock the ultimate reason for any ethics or
morality. Our forefathers as stated in the Declaration of Independence did not say it sure
would be nice if we were a nation. They took as their motivation the One they called
Natures God, our Creator, and the Supreme Judge of the World. Without that
bedrock motivation, mere education will be just that, and it will never be enough no
matter how many billions we throw at it. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.