The real education of the child begins very early in the child’s development. New research is finding that firm foundations set early are the best guarantee that children will experience success later in life.
Liberal educators really do not want to hear such truths. They would prefer to parrot over and over again the mantras of modern education. These include the idea that the mere application of teaching methods will resolve all problems in learning. More government programs are all that is needed to make sure no child is left behind. A common core of learned information will ensure child will be career and college ready.
However, such mantras have consistently failed to understand the nature of the child. This mechanistic approach to education that stresses method over character does not deliver good results. It is not only what is taught, but how the child is prepared for the lessons of life that makes a difference. If the child is not given this essential moral formation early in life, anything the school can offer is often too little, too late.
It used to be that only religious leaders and educators insisted upon a strong moral formation early in life. The scientific establishment now is adding its voice. As the understanding of the human mind expands, scientists are finding that the child’s development begins at ever-earlier ages.
“Virtually every aspect of human development,” affirms a major study by the National Academy of Sciences, “from the brain’s evolving circuitry to the child’s capacity for empathy, is affected by the environments and experiences that are encountered in a cumulative fashion, beginning in the prenatal period and extending throughout the early childhood years.”
The child’s first school is not kindergarten but begins in the womb and later is found in the experience and interaction with the infant environment. The young child’s brain is biologically set up to absorb influences from surroundings. The child is especially attuned to connecting with mature adults found especially in parents. Early neuro-biological development associated with the child’s ability to absorb influences is foundational and powerfully influences later life.
These skills are also extremely agile early in childhood, which facilitates the learning process enormously. As the child ages, however, such abilities lessen and the brain finds it more difficult to change. It would make sense to facilitate the child’s development early in life since it is much more efficient and cost-effective than in later years.
The perfect educational program should be the greatest possible promotion of the family, especially as found in the Christian family.
Of course, the logical conclusion of such findings should lead educators to try to visualize the ideal conditions under which the very young child can capitalize on this amazing aptitude to learn. It would indeed be much easier to start early than arrive late in the education process.
It does not take a rocket scientist or a neuroscientist to come to the obvious conclusion that the traditional family is the ideal and most natural institution that fosters the best possible development of the child. The family provides the earliest possible instruction and surroundings that favour the proper formation of the infant and later the child. The father and mother are the perfect caring adults for interaction with the child to aid in the proper development of the child’s brain and thinking processes.
The perfect educational program should be the greatest possible promotion of the family, especially as found in the Christian family. Such a program would buttress the high standards of morality that keep families together. There should be a general discouragement and condemnation of immorality, promiscuity and perversity that are harmful to the formation of healthy families. Teachers should support the protection of the womb, that first “kindergarten” that is threatened by abortion. In this way, children will already enter schools with the best possible elements for a good education. They will leave predisposed to form their own families oriented toward the good of their children and not personal gratification.
Until this is done, the education establishment is doomed to provide too little, too late. Modern educators will address at great cost to the taxpayer only the effects of broken families and shattered lives. There is neither program nor budget sufficient to deal with this crisis since they will never look at the causes.
They will not dare look at the cause because such a courageous attitude would entail fighting against the predominate culture that glorifies violence, sexuality and immorality. Not even science, long idolized by the education establishment, is enough to convince them to change. Indeed, the growing evidence is there for all who want to see. The problem is that so many do not want to see…
Written by John Horvat |TFP.org