This picture caused a bit of feather-ruffling on facebook, so I thought I'd explain why I thought it was worth sharing.
My friend, who is a public school teacher and whom I respect very much, had this to say about it:
I don't completely agree with this. There are some school programs, and certainly school systems in the past, that fit this quote. My experience as a public school educator for the last six years has not been to produce "docile and uninquisitive citizens." There is a lot to say for and against any type of educating system, homeschool included. I think homeschooling fits in this quote as readily as private or public education. Just my unsolicited thoughts.
My response:I think there are those even today who do have this agenda, but they are not usually teachers. When you think of people in power (which power corrupts), you don't think of teachers as the top tier, do you? I certainly don't. As far as homeschooling being designed to push propaganda, I'd have to say that's a strange idea because homeschoolers are parents. Parents have a God-given mandate to teach their children and pass on their heritage - a stewardship which some choose to lend to outside teachers and tutors. Since children naturally question their parents' ideas, there's less danger of "gulping ideas ready-made."
The truth I see in this quote is that a person who has learned an idea as absolute fact has quenched his curiosity. When theories were being taught as theories, and opinions as opinions, there was plenty of room for curiosity and inquisitive students. Invention and innovation was at its height. But when theories are taught as if a general consensus proves fact (and some shameless teachers and curriculum-writers give opinions in place of knowledge), curiosity is quenched by something false - that is propaganda. Every parent has a responsibility to guard against this, and that's homeschooling, whether you do it in place of school, or after school around the dinner table.
What are your thoughts on H.L. Mencken's quote?Being educated is not ultimately bad, but self-education is the best thing of all.