Education Or Self-Esteem?

How Liberal Reasoning Distorts Sound Education Goals...


Why our Young People Are Leaving School With Inadequate Skills




Christians Be Warned: the Enemy is Already at the Gates!



t various times over the last several years a controversy has been building over the inculcation of self-esteem tactics within the schools of the West. Educators claim that these programmes encourage creativity, increase concentration, possibly even decrease drug use. These so-called 'life-skill programmes' are now being used extensively in public and private schools in most 'advanced' nations.





Now, we all recognize the importance of our young people developing good confidence skills (please note that I avoided the well-worn phrase, "self-confidence"), but how closely does the self-esteem taught by such programmes match reality? Does it really benefit our young people when we read that British students are generally performing poorly right across English-based tests? Surely something must be going wrong. Could we even be causing students to develop a false security based on feelings which may not match the true realities of life?


When we read that many employers are now complaining that their new 'just-out-of-school' employees (and quite often their 'just-out-of-university' employees as well!), tend to be sadly lacking in basic skills and need training in the fundamentals before being useful to these new employers, we are being alerted that something is seriously wrong within our schools and colleges system.


...the opening of the 19th century door to consider pseudo-intellectual theories (such as Freudism and Darwinism) as "new science," even where solid evidence and widespread substantiation were absent, was for the West to start going down a slippery slope of intellectual and educational hollowness and sloppiness. Today almost anything may be branded as a "new science" - deep and strong moorings in solid evidence and the 'tests of time' are no longer considered important. Fine literary and numeracy skills? Less important than self-expression.

Even before my own children started to leave school back in the 80s/90s, I began to notice that - for some strange reason - basic geography was no longer being properly taught in their classes. In my old geography class back in the 1950s we needed to be able to name the capital cities/main crops of the top fifty countries of the world just as a basic geography requirement. When I tested my own children and our two fostered children on this skill before they all left school (quite a number of years ago, of course) I was shocked that these basics had apparently not been covered in the state school curriculum, even back then - but a lot of other, pretty useless things had been covered.


When I took my theology degree back in the 1990s, I recall one of the lecturers moaning because some of the younger of my fellow students had apparently never been taught to correctly use paragraphs within their essays. He took time out one day to talk about using paragraphs in essays. I think that a few of us older theology students were a little stunned by this. Nevertheless, I too was glad of the reminder of the importance of using paragraphs. For the marker of an essay, or examination paper, any lack of paragraphing is a nightmare, making reading very hard and uncomfortable. Quite apart from the fact, of course, that little or no use of paragraphing reveals inadequate literary skills.


I think there exists a connection between some of these things; the importance of self-esteem is overly-stressed in modern education. It is one of the fruits of the hyper-liberalism which has now taken over in so many "advanced" societies. New teachers leaving university over the last ten years are overly-grounded in encouraging their future young students to achieve "fulfillment," and to practice self-expression. But solid education has clearly started to lose out!


Darwinism is held up to our young people as the "meaning of life," in all its blind, random, meaningless, amoral, 'one chance in a trillion' hopelessness...


Why - one might ask - would this matter be of any concern to a Christian Apologetics writer such as myself? Because Christian educators have always had a passion for sound education and for sound learning. Truth is: the opening of the 19th century door to consider pseudo-intellectual theories (such as Freudism and Darwinism) as "new science," even where solid evidence and widespread substantiation were absent, was for the West to start going down a slippery slope of intellectual and educational hollowness and sloppiness. Today almost anything may be branded as a "new science" - deep and strong moorings in solid evidence and the 'tests of time' are no longer considered important. Today the Bible is laughed at as a tool of learning even while fanciful, unproven and unprovable theories are being taught to our children in all intellectual seriousness! When Darwinism is held up to our young people as the "meaning of life," in all its blind, random, meaningless, amoral, 'one chance in a trillion' hopelessness, but the Bible (which has stood up to all the tests and challenges which educationalists have aimed at it and has finally come out on top in being regarded as a highly trustworthy document), is openly ridiculed not only in our educational establishments but on 'serious' BBC "science programmes," we may know that we have entered treacherous waters!


So be warned that we have entered perilous times! When truth is laughed at as being an eternal proposition - people are seriously taught that it's just a matter of opinion and one person's view of 'truth' may be radically different to another person's view, both equally valid - we may know that the enemy is already at the gates. How low in degradation, immorality and in the love of half-truths and just plain errors taught as "valid scientific theory," will our 'advanced' societies descend? You know, I have a feeling that we will all soon find out for ourselves - and I never said that just five years ago!


I am in full agreement with Paul the Apostle that those who love error and doubt and wish to teach that to others are without excuse. We are not a society which has only just emerged from primitive animism and shamanism. Over a hundred years ago our places of education were filled with those who had a thirst for truth. People like John Wesley and George Whitefield had huge nation-wide respect. We DO know better, therefore we are without excuse:


The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20).


Robin A. Brace. July 2nd, 2012.


UK APOLOGETICS