Public Education, Christian Education and Worldview

Discussion in 'Seminaries, Colleges & Education' started by JBaldwin, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Definitely shapes the student's world viewpoint

    25 vote(s)
  2. Strong influences the student's world viewpoint

    21 vote(s)
  3. Has minimal affect on the student's world viewpoint

    1 vote(s)
  4. Has no affect on the student's world viewpoint

    0 vote(s)
  5. It depends on the student

    18 vote(s)
  6. Other

    0 vote(s)
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  1. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    A couple of threads having to do with education (judge ruling on a homeschooling family and the argumentative essay class) have me thinking about public vs. Christian education. I started to add my :2cents: to these discussions and realized I would be hopping down another rabbit trail... (We need a hopping rabbit icon!)

    This time, I want to know what everyone thinks about public education. But before you all go spouting off your opinions about the usual evils of public education (lack of discipline, low test scores, gang violence, etc), I am more interested in thoughts regarding philosophy and world view. How does public education affect a person's world view and how important is that in the grand scheme of things? If we expose our children to this world viewpoint 5 days a week on a regular basis, can we counteract that with a Christian education on the evenings and weekends? What does Scripture teach about this?

    I have some strong opinions on the subject, but I am interested in hearing what others have to say.
  2. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Let me add one thing--in the poll when I am speaking of student, I am specifically thinking of students under the age of 16.
  3. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    Without a doubt public education shapes the students world view. I was going to answer, "depends on the student" but I answered in general terms.
  4. TaylorOtwell

    TaylorOtwell Puritan Board Junior

    Having recently graduated from a public high school (4 years ago), I may be able to share some insight.

    If a Christian child is in public school, there quite honestly could be not a single sound Christian companion for them to spend time with during lunch or recess.

    Also, like you implied, there are going to be around these individuals for about 7 hours of the day, which, considering Pro 13:20, could be extremely negative.

    I went to an Arkansas high school, an area which most people would call the "Bible belt", and even that high school would be horrible for a Christian child to be grow up in. That being said, some of the teachers may be sound Christians; however, the vast majority of other children will not be.


    *EDIT* I just noticed the under 16 comment, and I can tell you from first hand experience that children in the 4th-5th grade can be addicted to gangster rap and p0rnography. Where I went to school, it would still be a bad environment for a Christian child.
  5. SueS

    SueS Puritan Board Freshman

    In my neck of the woods (Steubenville, Ohio) much is made of the fact that many of the teachers in the public schools are Christians - in my church there are an amazing number of PS teachers and retired teachers. BUT.....what is not taken into account is that they are working for a government organization with an atheistic worldview and agenda. Children are exposed to that agenda for at least five hours per day, five days per week. Even those from solid Christian homes cannot escape this pernicious influence. For the most part they will emerge from their 14 years of state captivity spouting the party line.

    Even more distressing, in my opinion, is the inability of PS (and for that matter, many CS) students to think independently. They are so used to having information/misinformation spoon fed to them that they are unable to actually search out truth - they obediently follow whoever they perceive to be their leader. My dd was in a CS through 5th grade and I found that this attitude handicapped her through her subsequent homeschooled years, although it decreased as time went on. I see a huge difference between her and her husband who is the product of both the Christian and public school systems.

    I could go on and on about this but it would turn into a HUGE bunnie trail so I'll stop here.
  6. J. David Kear

    J. David Kear Puritan Board Freshman

    I picked It depends on the student. However, I really mean that it depends on the student and their parents. I believe that a child's worldview/life philosophy training is the responsibility of their parents whether they attend public school or not.

    That said, the public in general can adversely influence any of us child or adult if we are not grounded properly in our faith.
  7. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    :agree: This is exactly was I was gonna post.
  8. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I'm glad I wasn't homeschooled - my parents didn't have a very good fund of knowlege and they considered it in order to isolate us from worldly influences, but by the time they considered it I had already made up my mind, and I wasn't a Christian. Their attempts to isolate, and my tendency to rebel would have simply made it harder to give Christianity a fair hearing than it already was.
  9. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    At least no one is voting 'no affect'. BTW, shouldn't it be 'effect' and not 'affect'? I don't know for sure because I was publicly schooled through age 30!
  10. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    You are quite right. It is effect, because effect is a noun. Can I blame all my mistakes on the fact that I have the flu today? Thanks.
  11. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    My apologies if this is off topic, but seeing as we are unanimous that public education has great influence on the worldview of our nation's children, why many Christians oppose Christian teachers from teaching in the public schools eludes me. It seems to me that we would want to get as many Christian teachers into the public teaching ranks as possible to help sway that worldview in a more Biblical direction. (Not all are called to so so, of course)
  12. Timothy William

    Timothy William Puritan Board Junior

    I voted "has minimal effect." This was based mainly on my own experience, which was 3 years at a State school, and 10 years at 4 different nominally Christian schools. I remember being 8 or 9 in the State school and a teacher saying (regarding religion) "there is no right or wrong, only peoples' opinions" and me thinking "that isn't true, either the claims made by each religion are true, or they aren't." I also remember thinking in high school, when I was at Christian schools, that any child who believed what they were told, just because their teachers told them, was especially dimwitted and fundamentally incapable of learning; but then I always was an intellectually arrogant child.
  13. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I live in the Bible belt and have many friends who teach in public schools. Their complaint is that they are not allowed to teach a Christian worldview in the school. If they mention God, it must be in context with other religons. Personally, I am not opposed to Christians teaching in public schools, but just because they are there doesn't mean that the children will get a Christian education. All it means is if they happen to get a Christian teacher, they won't have their faith ridiculed.
  14. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    It has been my experience, I am sure it is not the case with your many friends, that teachers are allowed to teach a Christian worldview as long as they are not ornery about it. The public school is made out to be this three headed monster that will gobble up any teacher who refuses to teach same sex marraige. But in actuality it is a giant slug with no teeth. No one cares what you teach those kids as long as the parents don't complain and your test scores don't get lower.

    Besides, Christian teachers cannot help but influence children if they are in actuality living a Christian lifestyle. Kids see that. Especially kids who live in a situation where sin runs rampant at home.
  15. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Again, I am not against Christians teaching in the public schools. There are some who are called to be there, but I cannot believe that any teacher would be allowed to teach a true Christian worldview without some opposition. Perhaps I need to explain what I mean by Christian worldview. What I mean is that all things turn back to God, as Creator and Sustainer of life on this earth. So when a teacher teaches science, he teaches that God created the earth and is the Master Designer. When he teaches history, he teaches God's providence and His involvement in the affairs of men. When he teaches politics, he shows how government leaders should be required to answer to God for their behavior. I don't know of a Christian teacher who would even dream of going this far when it comes to teaching in the classroom, because of the restrictions placed on them. The public school textbooks do not present God at all, let alone in this way. If a teacher consistently contradicts the textbook, eventually someone questions it.
  16. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Church members teaching in gov't schools. Heck, I even have an elder who's a principal in one (sends his kids to CS, though). Would we feel differently if we were living in Iran, and they were working in madrassas because, well, they could be an influence for Christ, and hey, the pay and benies ain't bad either?

    Oh nevermind. What did I do with my blindfold?
  17. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Frankly, I won't teach in a government school, (I actually tried substituting at the local middle school once--won't do that again), but I do believe there are some who are called to do it. Having said that, those Christians I know teach in government schools tend to teach the lower grades or high school subjects which don't require a discussion of beliefs, such as math and music.
  18. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Strong influence. Granted there are outside influences that sometimes counter, but given the amount of time a child spends in ps compared to the amount of time usually spent with parents and is definitely unbalanced in favour of the ps. The teachers there are strongly out to promote THEIR views, not encourage children in the views of their individual families. Teachers are to take whatever means necessary to accomplish not just teaching of these views, but to make certain that the students have absorbed through behaviour and thought modification. Those children that don't fall into line many times end up being commanded to psychiatric evaluation. At least that has been my experience from the schools I was familiar with.
  19. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    Definite influence, UNLESS you spend each and every day some time countering everything they saw and heard not just from teachers but friends. We should be shielding our children from ungodly infuence not putting them directly in its path.

    1 Corinthians 15:33
    Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals."

    Why would we put our children through was Lot was put through in the city of Sodom.

    2 Peter 2:7-8
    7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked
    8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);
  20. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    For the most part, it is the same here. Though here the psychiatric evaluation usually leads to a visit to the doctor's office where a dose of ridilin or some other behavior modifying drug is prescribed. At one time (I don't know if it is still the case), the stats indicated that 50% of the children in our county's school district where on some type of behavior-modifying drug. Most of these drugs were prescribed after a student had been evaluated by a teacher, sent to a psychiatrist and then a doctor.
  21. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    Can public school teachers teach about the Christian faith as long as he is teaching about other religions?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  22. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    In my experience this is a myth. Honestly, unless a parent complains, principals by and large, do not care what is going on in the classroom. Just keep them test scores up!
  23. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    I may be more of a 'dominionist' than many on PB are comfortable with but when Paul says in 1 Cor 3:22, "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's..." was he excluding the public education system?

    Public education is what it is in this country because of what the church has allowed it to become. If we endeavor to take it back, perhaps the Lord will go before us. I am not advocating stripping children of their spiritual armor and casting them to the wolves, but let our hearts not be discouraged that all is lost either. :)
  24. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    I had several Christian professors during high school. One of them, a history teacher, skipped the "prehistoric age" during World History because "it never happened." And when I lived in Germany the two children of my host family told me what a crock evolution is (their parents had sorted through it with them at home).
  25. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    My experience in the public school was exactly the opposite. My faith was openly ridiculed by my teachers, and we were told that if we believed in creation we were living in the dark ages. My sister's children who attended public charter schools (in a different state from where I went to public school) had simliar experiences.

    Honestly, I do not think that we can generalize based on our experiences. However, if you take a hard look at textbooks, the average teachers and the overall structure and goals of the public education, it is not Christian, but humanistic. Futhermore, the system is so out of control, that I don't think apart from a nationwide revival that the system can be redeemed.

    Though I am not a public school teacher, I was plugged into the system for awhile, because I belonged to a national music teacher's organization. The mail I received on a regular basis about what they wanted me to support and teach children was frightening.
  26. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate


    My son is 10, in the 5th grade, and attends public school. We have many interesting discussions at the supper table most evenings. My prayer is that as he continues to attend the public schools, he will continue to ask questions.
  27. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    But if we had more Christian teachers in the public schools, this would happen less often.

    What is interesting is that because of NCLB, content standards are becoming the driving force in curriculum instead of textbooks. And the state standards in CA are not as opposed to a Christian worldview as many assume. For example, not until 7th grade is old earth theory and evolution a 'standard'. And it is hotly debated even in academia! If a parent objects, they can opt out. (Some Christians, however, have no problem with OE anyway)

    And there is no standard that all students must acknowledge that 'alternative lifestyles' are moral.

    It is going to be interesting to see how content standards (especially in CA since it drives the textbook industry) (apologies to you Texans) might change the textbooks for the better.

    I am not saying that the CA content standards are perfect, but they have taken curricular control away from the liberal textbook companies.
  28. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    Can a public school teacher talk about the scientific evidence that is opposed to evolution?
  29. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    Can they? They certainly 'can'. Despite popular Christian opinion, there is no pagan 'Big Brother' looking over the teacher's shoulder every minute of every day. I am not a science teacher but it would seem to me that you would want to deal with contradicting theories on every subject.
  30. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    You're kidding, right? (sad to say, I think you actually believe this)

    I had Christian teachers in our school and their hands were tied. Their hands were tied when I was physically abused by other students and teachers. The principal's hands were tied when I was slapped in the face by another teacher because I did not believe homosexuality was caused by the hypothalamus being larger or smaller in said gender and that my faith teaches against it. They simply had to keep their mouths shut. One had to skim over the Jesus part of our history text, then we all had to listen quietly as a girl whose family was a member of the Nation of Islam went on about her faith. The teacher couldn't say anything for fear of being turned in for bias or racism. Our biology teacher skipped over the section on evolution "so we could finish the book in a year and hit the important parts" (she went to my church, loved her, but her hands were tied in all other matters including counsel that I knew she was dying to give and I could've used). We had one teacher that was also a farmer and preacher...the most he could do is ban cursing and do his best to catch anyone kissing in the halls. The last principal we had could only declare that boys keep their pants pulled up, but even that 6 foot plus 3 inch spiked heels, 60 some year old, retired Naval Officer had her hands tied in such matters of morality and what was and wasn't pushed. (Loved her, the principal before her would hit on the teen girls) And if a guy pushed a girl off a chair and called her a foul name...guess who got suspended if the girl socked him? (It was worth the suspension :lol: )

    The teachers don't just have to fear their peers...they have to fear their students and the families of their students as well. Christian students have to fear both their teachers and their peers.

    No thank you. Kudos to all the Christians that choose to work in said atmosphere...but it doesn't mean I need to send my CHILD into it.
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