What is Traditional Education?
It is obvious to see the blessings of God on our country and our Judeo-Christian way of life, but how have these things come to be? It is said that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," and it could also be said that education of the youth is of utmost importance in directing a nation. The chart of our country's course was set centuries ago in colonial America with traditional education, and traditional education begins with truth--truth that is unaltered and changeless. This truth must be given to those who are simple. Scripture says "to give subtilty to the simple." Facts (truth) must be imparted to one, especially a simple one, before he can begin his journey of learning. Opponents to the traditional way of teaching say that learning is preeminent; however, learning without truth is meaningless. Genuine instruction must be given from an instructor who holds this truth high and demands that the pupil learn it.
A fundamental fault of progressive education is the denial of man's fallen sin nature. Traditional Christian education says that every man is part of the curse of sin by nature and by choice. How then, can an uninstructed, fallen pupil learn unless his nature is opposed and disciplined by an outside force which confronts his error? More specifically, how can a man learn unless his fallen nature is challenged and ultimately changed? Scripture again asks, "How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" Progressives focus on how to learn, but traditionalists focus on what to learn; that "what" is truth, and that truth is ultimately found in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
Traditionalism instructs through teachers who set a program of rules and training in which students learn lessons in character as well as academics. Progressivism instructs through student experiences of creativity and permissiveness opening the door to relativism--learning one's "own truth."
It is traditional education that has laid the foundation for critical thought in our country. We have loosed ourselves from the moorings of these principles and embraced progressivism and relativism in the name of advancement. The "shackles" of traditional instruction are, in fact, the disciplines that set a pupil's mind free to be creative, expressive, and fulfilled. It does not squelch individuality; on the contrary, it gives eternal parameters with which to guide the soul in the vast expanse of life.
A participant can no more enjoy a game in which he does not know the rules any more than a soul can experience joy in life without having an unmistakable set of guiding principles.
Truth is preeminent, and the knowledge of this truth can only be realized if it is not watered-down but firmly declared and trained in His way. God has called some to teach--to represent his ultimate authority and truth--for those who need guidance and direction. This is the heart of traditional education.