Ellen G. White Writings

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Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 64

Chapter 6—The Home and the School

It is the boast of the present age that never before did men possess so great facilities for the acquirement of knowledge, or manifest so general an interest in education. Yet despite this vaunted progress, there exists an unparalleled spirit of insubordination and recklessness in the rising generation; mental and moral degeneracy are well-nigh universal. Popular education does not remedy the evil. The lax discipline in many institutions of learning has nearly destroyed their usefulness, and in some cases rendered them a curse rather than a blessing. This fact has been seen and deplored, and earnest efforts have been made to remedy the defects in our educational system. There is urgent need of schools in which the youth may be trained to habits of self-control, application, and self-reliance, of respect for superiors and reverence for God. With such training, we might hope to see the young prepared to honor their Creator and to bless their fellow men.

It was to secure these objects that our own College at Battle Creek was founded. But those who endeavor to accomplish such a work, find that their undertaking is fraught with many and grave difficulties. The evil which underlies all others, and which often counteracts the efforts of the best instructors, is to be found in the home discipline. Parents do not see the importance of shielding their children from the gilded temptations of this age. They do not exercise proper control themselves, and hence do not rightly appreciate its value.

Many fathers and mothers err in failing to second the efforts of the faithful teacher. Youth and children, with their imperfect comprehension and undeveloped judgment, are not always able to understand all the teacher's plans and methods. Yet when they bring home reports of what is said and done at school, these are discussed by the parents in the family circle, and the course of the teacher is criticised without restraint.

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