Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 57

Chapter 4—Thoughts on Education

No work ever undertaken by man requires greater care and skill than the proper training and education of youth and children. There are no influences so potent as those which surround us in our early years. Says the wise man, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The nature of man is threefold, and the training enjoined by Solomon comprehends the right development of the physical, intellectual, and moral powers. To perform this work aright, parents and teachers must themselves understand “the way the child should go.” This embraces more than a knowledge of books or the learning of the schools. It comprehends the practice of temperance, brotherly kindness, and godliness; the discharge of our duty to ourselves, to our neighbors, and to God.

The training of children must be conducted on a different principle from that which governs the training of irrational animals. The brute has only to be accustomed to submit to its master; but the child must be taught to control himself. The will must be trained to obey the dictates of reason and conscience. A child may be so disciplined as to have, like the beast, no will of its own, his individuality being lost in that of his teacher. Such training is unwise, and its effect disastrous. Children thus educated will be deficient in firmness and decision. They are not taught to act from principle; the reasoning powers are not strengthened by exercise. So far as possible, every child should be trained to self-reliance. By calling into exercise the various faculties, he will learn where he is strongest, and in what he is deficient. A wise instructor will give special attention to the development of the weaker traits, that the child may form a well-balanced, harmonious character.

In some schools and families, children appear to be

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»