Modern American State education is based on the Prussian Education System – influence for this system came from the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, who wrote, “The schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”
Frederick II began the introduction of compulsory education in Prussia in 1763. The purpose was to instill loyalty and obedience to the crown and state through education and make the people fit for service in the military and public administration. The Prussian Education System was first introduced into American Schools by Horace Mann in 1852.
There is a strong streak of Plato’s Republic in this system. Plato wrote in the Republic that an ideal city state should be governed by philosopher kings, educated to think freely, and protected by a high class military. The majority of children should be educated only to the level of productive workers with family ties broken as possessions of the state. If there is a feeling in America that education for the majority is being ‘dumbed down,’ it does not come from IDers or creationists, but it is part of the humanist controlled system itself, only training children to be obedient, subservient economic units who belong to the state.
I would suggest that those of us interested in education need to develop a fresh vision for education based on respect, freedom, including freedom to discuss spiritual values, and equality. A complete and well rounded education for all children should ideally go beyond turning out economic units to include philosophy and theology so that children can think freely across different realms of thought. Wasn’t that the original vision of the founding fathers?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Contrary to claims by Scott and Branch in Scientific American, it is the humanist dominated education system that is holding back the real education of children because it is based on state control not freedom.
Sheldon Richman ‘Separating School and State: Liberating America’s Families’
John Taylor Gatto ‘Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling’