Ch. 4: Happiness and Success in the History of Education

In ancient Greece and Rome, and throughout the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment, schools were divided into the approximate equivalents of our modern elementary school, middle school and high school, and college, corresponding to age 6 to 12, 12 to 18, and 18 to 24.

It was only during the Industrial Revolution, in the latter part of the 19th century, that government officials and factory owners decided that schools should train children to be good laborers and managers. Thus, math and science and other “objective” subjects were to be given highest priority in all grades. Other matters, such as the child’s emotional, moral, and spiritual development, were to be eliminated from the classroom as impediments to the “practical” curriculum. It was assumed that these areas would be sufficiently addressed in church and at home.

The result of this system is the public school system of today, with its government-mandated curriculum and its heavy emphasis on academics to the exclusion of nearly everything else.

The mission of the Living Wisdom Schools is to rescue children from this system, whose weaknesses have become abundantly apparent in recent years, with an alarming number of student suicides and significant numbers of children acting out their frustrations with drugs and violence. The Living Wisdom Schools have shown that educating the whole child—body, mind, and spirit—does not leave the children’s intellectual potential neglected; rather that the opposite is true: by engaging the whole child in the learning process, vast reserves of energy and enthusiasm are released to fuel the highest success, leading to first-class test scores and exceptional grades in high school and college.

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