401-Called to teach

401-Called to teach - Michaelis & Mowry Education 1 A...

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Education 1 A Discussion of Public School Teaching and Calling The teacher in western culture The conception of teacher in our society has roots deep in western culture. The Judeo-Christian view of the priest as one set apart from others and given special duties to minister to the larger society provided our culture with early conceptions of the idea of vocation. James’ admonition, "Let not many of you become teachers . . . knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment 1 ” supports the conception that teachers are also set apart for special duties. This early construction of teaching as being set apart was further supported with the development of centuries of a church priesthood, a clearly set aside group, charged with carrying out the role of teaching as part of their religious duties. Due to the historical and cultural linkages between the role of teacher and the role of ministry in western religious history, individuals in modern secular society often still refer to their choice of teaching as a calling 2 and understand that it comes with cultural mandates not always ascribed to other professions. Students do not receive a call to architecture, or a call to law or retail merchandizing, but freely use the language of calling regarding teaching and ministry. The idea of being called by God to a life of service has been largely replaced in secular society with being “called” to a life of service in which the identity of the “caller” is left ambiguous. The teacher in the US The role of teacher still is understood as an undertaking that not just anyone can or should have since it involves special duties to society not always ascribed to other professions. The French sociologist, Emile Durkheim clearly understood the moral aspect of teaching, when he wrote, "Just as the priest is the interpreter of God, he [the teacher] is the interpreter of the great moral ideas of his time and country. 3 " Even John Dewey, considered a social and moral pragmatist in our own country, understood the moral connections between schooling and society when he wrote, "The moral responsibility of the school, and of those who conduct it, is to society. The school is fundamentally an institution erected by society to do a certain specific work,-- to exercise a certain specific function in maintaining the life and advancing the welfare of society. 4 " In the nineteenth century, Horace Mann’s development of the Common Schools Movement to bring about uniformity in public education and the preparation of teachers called for a “common morality” for which schools were responsible. The responsibility of schools for the moral health of the nation became part of the American Protestant ideology of millennialism in which the use of public schools to further the gospel became a way to hasten the kingdom of God through the production of worthy Christian students. This ideology spurred on groups like the American Sunday School Union to recruit and send thousands of moral
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2011 for the course EDU 300 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at BYU.

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401-Called to teach - Michaelis & Mowry Education 1 A...

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