p Many do not investigate because they do not wish to believe. p

EDUCATION AT THE CROSS-ROAD

     One need not say “I told you so” to feel the satisfaction of seeing evidence on all sides of developments long anticipated by one’s own views and efforts.  I have preached educational simplification for many years, and have brought up two sons from babyhood by teaching them how to think instead of what to think.  If any of you who are my friends attended the annual congress of Michigan parents and teachers at Grand Rapids, perhaps you smiled and thought of me when you listened to Dr. Rollo G. Reynolds, professor of education at Columbia university.

      I need not repeat what I have so often declared, but call your attention to Dr. Reynolds’ statement that educators not only taught too many non-essentials, but often “lied” to their pupils.  Quoting from the associated Press report of his talk:  “Educators make education altogether too complicated.  They evolve complicated formulae and concepts.  They teach things that are not worth knowing.  They do not teach the truth. They have lied to their student.”

     Dr. Reynolds’ criticism of the unreliability of history text books is well founded.  He is right in stating that teachers have wasted millions of hours of study for American boys and girls because they have taught various things for no other reason than that their teachers taught the subject to them.

     “Dr. Reynolds suggested pupils be taught to think, not what to think, and added that ‘if the American nation could bring up one generation and teach it to think in the face of evidence, it would transform civilization.’”

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     Is it fair to teach a child what it cannot retain, by the order of a few who themselves failed at what parents tried to force upon them, wasting valuable time and brainforce to memorize a calibre that did not, nor does it, fit the rifle:  expecting to shoot big game with a “22” calibre bullet, and a chipmunk with a cannon?

     Don’t you think your boy, in the intense studies of “technique,” shapes his reason according to what he has memorized?  Is this memory which is taught him ideal and self-evident, to conform to the environments he will be forced to meet?  Have his original natural tendencies been made concrete, causing him to lose the adaptability to shape his opinion in any other form save that which he has been taught, influencing the spiritual by material, or reason by facts that cannot be understood from that viewpoint?  The other extreme is just as bad, teaching him only religious subjects and not material reasoning. 

     Is the night not as important as the day, the left hand as the right hand, in order to see in perspective the length and breadth, drawing a conclusion as to its thickness?

     Why are young graduates “materialists” in the majority of cases, often rank atheists:  why, if not that their faculties of sensing the abstract are as yet unknown to them?  These faculties, far from being awakened and cultivated, are more often than not stunted beyond repair in a process of mental abortion under educational auspices.

     Today we know these things.  We know that they will later be known as facts, if recognition is tardy today, just as we now admit things that our fathers would not have dared to believe.  Should we not keep open certain faculties, as a new plot of ground, suspecting that possibilities are probabilities?

     Why do extremely religious students ignore reasonable problems, necessities and progress of our earthly development?  There must be two banks of a river, if we expect to bridge them into union.  A body without a soul is inanimate matter.  A soul without a body is spirit of magnitude.  Can we not accept the fact that all animals possess a living spirit that governs action, and an eternal, regulating soul that governs the regulation of that spirit?  Go into the chemical laboratory and pour a little glycerine into some permanganate of potash. Watch the generation of heat as they unite.  Watch the spirit of the chemicals in contact ignite into flame, releasing the sunlight originally absorbed and preserved in the separate chemicals.  Man’s reason and intelligence is the soul that created the experiment for the sake of results involved.  In this little experiment is a chemical symbolization of the creative power of a God, as well as the principle and necessity of Immortality.

     Do not destroy or strangle your natural instinct of centuries by the “what to think” of a so-called “education” that was born but yesterday, or you may find yourself helpless tomorrow by today’s attempt to exist.  Eyes, ears and reason are not all there is in life’s problems.  Go into the chemical laboratory again to learn that there may be virtue in two individual chemicals, which would destroy you if combined.  Likewise there may be chemicals each deadly in themselves, which create a third, if combined, which is a life-saver; not only safe, but life itself:  male and female with child.