Over the last two decades, our educational philosophy at every level has been more and more dominated by an instrumentalist model; less and less concerned with a building of virtue, character and citizenship – 'civic excellence' as we might say. And a good educational system in a healthy society is one that builds character, that builds virtue.
I find myself compelled to object that character formation is not the province of public schools but of homes. I submit that if we allow public institutions to teach our children virtue, we will find ourselves with children who only have institutional virtues. As a Christian, I consider "civic excellence" to be a secondary virtue to be understood in a radically different context than the government would. I certainly do not want to hand over the task of training up a virtuous society to world governments who have shown themselves incapable even of training up virtuous governments.
No thank you archbishop. Of all the things public education is doing wrong, I can assure you that it is not inappropriatley neglecting character formation.