Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Patrick Henry College Grooming Conservative Leaders

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
One of the outcomes of online learning has been enhanced support for home schooling. And one of the outcomes of the rising home schooling movement has been the development of colleges that target support to this sector. However, this development has been noted with concern by some, since the movement has allowed for the development of educational institutions with specific political and religious leanings. Such is the case with Patrick Henry College, which states explicitly, "The Mission of Patrick Henry College is to train Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding." The authors don't mean "lead" in a metaphorical sense. "Abram Olmstead knew he would fit right in at Patrick Henry College, the first college primarily for evangelical Christian home-schoolers. But what really sold him was the school's pipeline into conservative politics." Now I believe that people should have the right to choose whatever religious and political affiliation they wish. Where I express concern with this movement is that the religious and political affiliation may be being thrust upon the students involved. In their "pipeline to conservative politics" through home schooling and Patrick Henry, are these students given the opportunity to learn about, and consider, alternative points of view? I make this point not because I oppose the conservative Christian perspective, but because a nation educated in this way is running the risk of creating a generation of leaders that cannot compromise, cannot envision life in a diverse culture and world. It creates an inevitability of conflict, and this does not bode well for anyone.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 23, 2024 07:03 a.m.

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