Friday, August 12, 2011

Taking a break from the absurd...sort of.

We interrupt this series on Christianity and the Absurd to bring you the response of Archbiship Rowan Williams, functional head of the Church of England, to the riots that recently took place in England. Specifially, I found this quote about education reform and its impact on society interesting:

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.

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