Ch. 8: Happiness and Success in the History of Education

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

It was only in the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution, that government officials and factory owners decided that schools should be focused on training children to become 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 children’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 clear in recent years, in the form of an alarming number of student suicides and significant numbers of children acting out their frustration through drugs and violence. The Living Wisdom Schools have shown that educating the whole child — body, mind, heart, and spirit — doesn’t leave the children’s intellectual potential neglected; rather, 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 accomplishment, leading to first-class test scores and exceptional grades.

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