Much of education in today's world is impersonal, incompetent, irrelevant. Education in Tomorrow's World will be pleasantly different. Here's how.
CRIMINALS are not the only ones serving time in our society. Around the world the majority of students are also but serving time, in an apparently endless and aimless process of education. The "inmates" are getting restless. Students barely old enough to frame a solid opinion are voicing their opposition to the boredom and purposelessness of what's going on in their classrooms — students as young as junior high. Some do more than voice their opinions. For just one example, ninety-nine teachers were attacked in San Francisco junior high schools in the year 1969. That's why, according to a recent survey conducted by the Syracuse University Research Corporation, 83% of the high schools responding to questionnaires reported some type of disruption over a recent three-year period. But student disinterest and resultant violence is only a symptom of the disease — a sickness that is gnawing at the vitals of our institutions of learning. The cause is very much deeper.
Of high school graduates responding to an ACT YOUTHPOLL, 78% had negative comments about their high schools. The alarming stats go on and on from survey after survey, poll after poll, questionnaire after questionnaire. Schools fail to stimulate their students. They fail to engage and enthuse minds which should be at the peak of curiosity. The child's simple joy of learning is rarely developed. Would you believe that some schools are even resorting to giving trading stamps just to get the pupils to attend? Is teacher incompetence the root of the problem? No one can deny many teachers are incompetent and unqualified. And incompetent teachers do produce lazy, disinterested, even hostile students. On the college level, the hearts of many otherwise competent professors are where their treasures are, in research grants, not in the classroom. They do not teach well. But neither of these teaching deficiencies is the real cause of the problem. There do remain institutions where highly competent teachers teach and students do learn. Yet "bricks are flying" on such campuses as well. Students are dissatisfied. There is still a missing dimension on campuses, in high schools, and even in grade schools. Students have failed to find a meaningful view of society — or of their place in it! So they just naturally turn to attack first the educational system — the world they are associated with. The IBM number; the crowded lecture hall of 500 students with a professor lecturing on a television screen; the shoulder-to-shoulder jostling in the campus bookstore, on the sidewalks, in the corridors; high-rise student dormitories; serpentine registration with a one-hour wait; the academic "factory" — all are part of the problem. The young, inexperienced student can easily feel "just a number," or like a tiny ant in a big, meaningless anthill. It's so impersonal, as if no one really cares. The teacher's job in the classroom lasts only from bell to bell. He or she is not concerned with the product after the conveyor belt carries the students outside of the classroom. Not much interest. Too busy. Hardly human. A true picture? Unfortunately, yes, to so many of the young who need personal interest and human contact, not impersonal, didactic instruction.
Is Education Relevant?
Thinking students ask, "Why must I take this class? What real understanding of the world that I'm living in does it give me? Or how will this course help me in my life's occupation?" One student, somewhat disappointed with this education, responded to the ACT YOUTHPOLL, "Education should be directly related to life. Memorization just for the sake of a test is a waste of time." Most students, upon graduation from high school or college, do want to be able to earn a living, to get a good job in society. And they want their courses to lead them in an efficient and productive manner into a job where they can experience accomplishment and success. Yet, though it may not be totally the fault of our high schools and colleges, the fate of many graduates today is education without employment or perhaps with employment that is incongruous with their education. And that doesn't make sense. But suppose every individual's education did qualify him for and fit him into a suitable job. Is that the only purpose of education? There is another basic part of complete education. It is the essential knowledge that is concerned with life itself. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of Ambassador College, describes this knowledge: "... Those basics are these: the knowledge and teaching of the true meaning and the purpose of human life on this earth; a discernment of the true values from the false; the teaching of the very principles of right living — of the WAY to peace, happiness, abundant well-being...." The quest for and subsequent dispersing of this kind of knowledge has been grossly ignored in this space-age society, where the emphasis has been heavily given to science and technology, business and industry. Knowledge of science and other related areas is certainly valuable, but it must be placed against the backdrop of the more essential knowledge discussed above.
Education Begins in the Home
It is a true maxim that education begins in the home. But what if it never begins? Today, Dad and Mother are too often "too busy" to be directly involved in educating their son or daughter, not realizing that lack of diligence in educating their children in early life dramatically affects their entire future education. The number of working women in the United States has doubled since the time just before World War II, but the number of working mothers has increased eightfold. In the World Tomorrow a mother working outside her home will be a rare thing. Instead, mothers will be liberated — totally liberated to work hard at the exhilarating full-time job of caring for and educating their children. Children will be taught the proper moral values — based on the Bible — by their parents. They will be taught how to build character. But children of today have a hard time applying the proverb, "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother," (Prov. 1:8) because they do not receive much "instruction" from Dad or "law" from Mom. A full 50% of a child's ability to grasp and to learn new concepts is acquired by age four, 80% by age eight. So it is vitally important that mothers (and also fathers) maximize their child's intelligence in the early years of his life. In Tomorrow's World children will receive this teaching early, and it will help weld families together. "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deut. 6:6-7). No longer will the ability to educate be viewed as a mystery system of rituals that can only be performed by the professionals. Much basic education in the classic three "r's" and in other areas will likely take place in the home. In the semi-rural (yet highly civilized and cultured) society of Tomorrow's World (Micah 4:4), Dad also will spend much of his time at home, not away and so "busy at the office" that he doesn't have time to educate his children. The father will set his children an example they can see of hard work and diligence, and the children will follow the example and participate in all that needs to be accomplished. A successful wage-earning example is the factor that psychologists say determines more than any other whether a child will be able to hold down a job and become self-supporting when he is grown. So whether farming the family land with Mom and Dad or perhaps learning Dad's trade or occupation, or seeing Mom working in the house, the children will see the example and learn early in their lives to get joy out of useful, productive work.
The Schools Themselves
Set within the peaceful, semi-rural communities of Tomorrow's World will be top-quality teachers. The job of a teacher will be highly respected and adequately financially remunerated. But an instructor will have to be totally qualified. The teacher in Tomorrow's World will be of outstanding character, an example all students will come to want to follow. His teaching will sincerely reflect that he has already proved that the Way of life in the society of Tomorrow's World really works. He'll be extremely personable and personal. Teachers will share their lives with the students, and show deep interest, in turn, in each of their students' lives. Teachers will care about their students and will show it. They will also be demanding, in order to give to the students the great sense of satisfaction that comes from producing. But since the teachers will be so exciting and stimulating, the students won't mind the work. Mutual understanding will be at an all-time high. Communication will be "solid" between teacher and student, as it will be between parent and off spring. Real character will be expected of the student. If discipline is needed, the teacher will administer it — in a loving manner. Breaking of the rules of society or school will be dealt with head-on. Lying to a teacher will not be shrugged off or dismissed. Cheating will no longer be winked at. And of course, student revolts will no longer be tolerated. No longer will schools be "academic factories" of multiple thousands. Nor will they just be places to train the intellect. As in the home, the Bible will be the foundation of knowledge. Courses in all academic areas will be built upon this foundation. With right principles of living, students will develop balanced personalities. The campus will have a practical atmosphere. Upon graduation students will not enter an unfamiliar sphere of job opportunities. While in school they will be trained for a job they know exists and one they know they will enjoy. And practical on-the-job training will be common during earlier school years, perhaps even with Dad; for formal schooling won't necessarily need to take up the entire day. Teachers will fully realize that their job is not to take the place of a parent, but to help parent and son or daughter to be even closer in their communication and enjoyment of each other. School and parents will mutually support each other to give the young man or woman proper vocational guidance, to place each in a position to give the most to society. Selfish considerations like making the most money will not even enter in. This society will be based on giving, and everyone will receive more than enough.
The Church — Capstone of Education
Today, the WAY of life best for man — the Way of peace in society, the Way of the Law of God — is little understood. In the World Tomorrow it will be expounded every week to all citizens. "...For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9). The Church will thoroughly explain and teach the amazingly simple, yet totally inclusive Law of God. Finally the minds of men will be opened to what the way of God really is and that it definitely pays to live that way. Then, when materialism is no longer the basis of society, mankind will finally be able to learn that everyone can indeed enjoy fabulous material blessings, not by taking and grasping but by the way of giving. Through the Church, concern for fellowman will become the fabric of society; for the Church will administer the Spirit of God. And by the Spirit of God residing in and leading individuals, all business will be run, all services will be rendered, according to the principle of love (Rom. 5:5). And the Church will make this principle plain.
A CHANGE Must Be Made
We've seen where education stands today. The fruits demonstrate the need for drastic change. How can it be made? By student violence? According to a recent Gallup Poll, "Eight in ten college students believe that the American political system does not respond quickly enough to meet the needs of the people." And "As many as four students in every ten think change in America during the next 25 years is more likely to occur through a revolution than through relatively peaceful means." In a way, the students are right. A revolution is going to occur in education — to change rapidly and dramatically not only American education, but that of all the world. It WILL solve the problems in today's education. But it won't come the way some envision.
Here Is How It Will Occur
The Kingdom, or Government of God, will be set up on this earth in Tomorrow's World. Jesus Christ will head it. He will be King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14). He will by no means be a figurehead ruler. His government will be able to move swiftly and decisively. He will rule with a "rod of iron" (Rev. 12:5). It will be government from the top down, yet with the best interests of the people in dictating policy. If, at first, all people do not totally agree with this government, they'll quickly see the fat benefits of the new educational program (Isaiah 52:7-8).
Moral Standards and a Unified Society
With total, yet understanding authority, the Government of God will be the "Department of Education"; and standards of conduct in life will be taught (Micah 2:4, last part). Moral guidelines will reshape society. They will begin in the home, be thoroughly expounded in the schools, and be reinforced by the Church. Thus a citizen of Tomorrow's World will have no question in his mind of what is "right" or "wrong.'' This vital, no longer missing dimension in education will provide a student with a clear and dependable guide to right character, a clear and satisfying concept of his place and individual value in human society, and an understanding of the purpose of human existence. Unified education will instill in him profitable principles of living, with solid emphasis on how to attain a successful and happy family relationship with God and Christ which can last for all eternity. The knowledge so tragically absent in the schools, homes and churches of today's world will be conspicuously present in homes, schools and churches in Tomorrow's World. Lives built on this foundation will be happy, productive, emotionally balanced. Dissatisfaction, rebellion, and drug abuse will disappear. So we are talking about revolutionary changes in the very structure of society which will occur regardless of what man thinks or does today. We're talking about directives coming from an all-wise King of the earth, Jesus Christ. We're talking about a change in the human spirit, to one of giving instead of getting. And, believe it or not, we're also talking about the educational - institutions for which pilot programs are this very minute being run. (If you're interested in finding out more about these pilot programs, write for your FREE copy of This Is Ambassador College.) Of course, we're not saying that God's new educational system will spread over the entire earth instantaneously, even at the return of Jesus Christ. Time will be required to train parents and teachers. In some areas of the world, it may take two or three generations just to reach 100% literacy. But pilot projects will rapidly begin in many places. Even whole countries will first be developed as showcases to other nations, demonstrating to them the fabulous benefits of the new system. And no nation, once it sees the benefits, will want to have part in other educational systems. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house [the Government of God) shall be established in the top of the mountains...and MANY PEOPLE shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2:2-3). Notice another account in the same book, "I... Yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:20-21). These scriptures show the nations will ultimately be willing and eager to accept God's new educational system. And the effectiveness of His system will grow as the millennium marches on. Generation after generation will be taught what life's purpose is and how to have happy and productive lives. "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:9). This is EDUCATION in Tomorrow's World.