I often forget that the debate over public schooling has been around many, many years. It is easy to get caught up in the debate of today, and to forget to listen to the voices of the past. So, on this breezy, mild June day, I bring forth a couple voices from the past, brought to my attention by the Bluedorns in their book Teaching the Trivium.
Charles F. Potter in Humanist magazine in 1930:
Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?
John Dunphy in Humanist magazine in the January/February edition 1983:
I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity…The teacher must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit…The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new–the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.
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