The Erosion of Education in America: Foundations and the Cultural Shifts that Have Undermined It
The Erosion of Education in America, written by a veteran educator with over 30 years of classroom experience, examines the cultural shifts, both philosophical and practical, that have impacted American education.
Rather than presenting a single focus on what schools themselves can do internally, the author documents the significant changes in both the content and agent of education; and discusses the roles of family, State, and religious faith in shaping the emerging generation. Education is built upon certain philosophical commitments and values and is therefore religious in nature, to some degree, even if God is ignored or left out of the equation. In the current era, secular education has chosen the gods of tolerance, diversity, and human achievement. The coherence of truth has been suppressed in the process. Enter technology, a welcome tool, yet it cannot overcome more foundational deficiencies which the author argues is due in part to the diminishment of the Judeo-Christian world-view in our culture.
The seeds of the shifts examined in this book were sown in the 19th century, bore fruit in the 20th, and continue into the 21st century. The reader will come to understand what led to the educational revival in America’s past, how divergent ideas and outlooks took root, leading to our current situation where the cost of maintaining, the values within, and the return on investment in American schools leaves many parents searching for alternatives. In the final portion of the book, some thoughts on the future and suggestions on navigating the present are offered.
List Price: $23.99
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
ISBN: 978-1-946971-29-6 (hardback)
ISBN: 978-1-946971-28-9 (paperback)
Endorsements & Reviews
“A helpful read in our day of cultural and educational war, The Erosion of Education in America provides insights into how education and schooling both reflect and produce culture and engage in individual and community development. This study addresses the shared but descending degrees of responsibility for educating children in our culture, with the primary and key role being that of parents, supported by the church, and protected by the state. The author illustrates historically how these roles began to shift in perceived importance in America and have now reversed themselves in today’s mainstream culture, with the state assuming primary responsibility for education. The dangers and harmful results from this reversal is multiplied when considering the simultaneous shift of educational foundation from a Protestant, Christian, God-honoring one to a secular, agnostic, man-focused approach. Education is powerful and at the center of the battle for the minds and hearts of our children. U.S. history demonstrates this truth. Reading this will strengthen your understanding of why and how.”
—Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Dr. Stull has given us a call to action. This book is a must read for every Christian parent and leader in the Church. The Church must strive by the grace of God to recover what has eroded in American education. Our children are too precious to be educated by those who do not share our biblical worldview. I highly recommend this book.”
—Dr. Sidney Dyer, Professor of Greek and New Testament, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
“The Erosion of Education in America provides a compelling case for the wisdom of 19th century Christian pastors and theologians Bushnell, Hodge, and Dabney in the arena of education. While most educational thought today fails to grasp wisdom from past eras, Dr. Stull appropriates the counsel of these men for our future. Each of these godly men agreed: parental nurture in the Christian faith is essential for raising well-educated, Christian children. As a Christian minister for over 25 years, an educator, and a parent of three faithful and wonderful grown-children, this seems obvious, but unfortunately many Christian parents still have not gained this insight and drift in a sea of experimentation. A faithful, loving home that names Christ as Lord is an indispensable bulwark against the storms of life that come in God’s loving, but sometimes “frowning” providences over the challenging times of maturation. This book will serve, like a compass, in the midst of such storms.”
—Rev. Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., author of Classical and Christian Education: Recapturing the Educational Approach of the Past
“Dr. Stull’s book is an argument for the importance of traditional education formulated from a Christian perspective. He carefully takes the reader through the phases of education in the history of American culture to show that the role of parents and the teaching of virtue have been lost sight of in the contemporary world. Education begins and is maintained at home. Formal education, properly understood, is an extension of the habits, character, and values fostered by parents. Most, if not all, of this traditional approach to education has been replaced by an uncritical commitment to a relativism of values. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Dr. Stull’s standpoint, it deserves attention and consideration.”
—Thora Ilin Bayer, Professor of Philosophy and RosaMary Foundation Professor of Liberal Arts, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, author of Moral Philosophy and Moral Education
“Dr. Stull’s book, The Erosion of Education in America, is a useful resource for all who are laboring for a reform in education and particularly those engaged in Christian education. Dr. Stull allows Dabney, Hodge, and Bushnell to speak for themselves. They offer diverse insights, but two very important principles emerge: the primary role of the family in the education of its children and the absolute necessity for the Christian faith to serve as the foundation of education. This book should stimulate intelligent discussion with respect to directions Christians need to take in education.”
—Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr., Ph.D., President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
“‘Pastor, how should I educate my children?’ is a frequently asked question of pastors and Christian educators. In Clark Stull’s The Erosion of Education in America the author provides a thoughtful summary of historical perspectives and contemporary issues which will prove extremely helpful in responding to this question. Despite the fact that families and educational systems are engulfed in cultural currents that run counter to biblical training, Stull’s emphasis—God’s Word and our American heritage—provides hope for our society, one that some refer to as ‘pre-Christian.’ Echoing the wisdom found in Deuteronomy 6, the Gospels, and Pauline writings, Stull presents a resounding refrain throughout the book—the eternal significance of parents’ leadership and participation in their children’s education.”
—Kenneth S. Coley, Director of Ed.D. Studies, Professor of Christian Education, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Among the chief temptations facing today’s Christian families, and especially Christian fathers, is that of leaving the education of our children to others who do not share our Christian faith or worldview. In The Erosion of Education in America, Clark Stull takes his readers on a journey through the genesis of common schools in a fledgling nation, and unpacks the related debate concerning who should educate America’s children and whether that education should include instruction in the Christian religion. In these pages are found wisdom from 19th century thought leaders, some real treasures for modern educators, and a reminder to parents to not take their children’s education for granted.”
—Robert Littlejohn, Co-author, Wisdom and Eloquence: a Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning.
“Dr. Clark Stull offers a thoughtful analysis of the role of parents, faith, and institutions in education by looking at the ideas of three very different educational leaders. Whether you agree with Bushnell, Dabney, or Hodges, this book will challenge you to think seriously about the meaning of a Christian education.”
—Leigh Bortins, Founder, Classical Conversations, Inc.