God-centred education vs. child-centred education
by Doreen Claggett
God-Centered Education. From the Garden of Eden, God has designed the family as His most important educational agency. The Hebrew people understood that fact. His instructions to parents were “to whet the intellectual appetites of their children. They were to sharpen their minds, prompting questions which would create teachable moments so that instruction in the faith of Israel might be given.” The Law was to be continually and unremittingly injected, as it were, into the child beginning with his mother’s milk (Isaiah 28:10). Scripture was the starting point of instruction; it was never tacked on.
In New Testament times, education likewise began in infancy. Timothy’s training by his mother and grandmother apparently followed Jewish tradition. As soon as a child first started to speak, it was common to teach him to repeat selected Bible verses. From infancy, therefore, Timothy knew the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15). He had an experiential knowledge of them; they meant something to him.
Child-Centered Education. In fierce opposition to the God-centered, God-purposed education of the Reformation and Colonial periods, a child-centered system steadily took over. Through the influence of educators like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, and Friedrich Froebel, the devil slashed into God’s Cycle of Education with the Dagger of Secularization and replaced faith in God with faith in man—the religion of secular humanism.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the secularization process was well underway, and the God of Scripture was systematically being removed from sector after sector. God’s people, like many today, missed the drama of the heavens, the spiritual warfare all around them (Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Thinking they were standing, they fell to the traditions of men (1 Corinthians 10:12; Colossians 2:8).