Quote of the Day

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TJED - "A Rotten Educational Philosophy!!"

I just read another good analysis of TJED from a homeschooling mom. She advises those interested in TJED to "Run away, run far far away!!!"

You can find her blog post here.


James F. said...

I can't help but to think that there is just a segment of our population that likes to sensationalize and polarize pretty non-controversial topics and points within that topic. Oh, and yes, I would include you RGW and RC in that group. :)

The "7 Keys" shouldn't be read with this literal Pharisee-like interpretation that is being given it by some. For instance, "Classics not Textbooks" does NOT mean that under the TJED methodology all textbooks are to be burned. Yet the author of "To Doron" certainly acts like it. As a commenter to the blog post pointed out, DeMille has said that there are textbooks that ARE considered classics under his definition and that the thought is basically that books that contain watered down compilations of the great books should be avoided.

These things really aren't controversial unless you first sensationalize them. Which is exactly what is being done by you folks. A TJED emphasis on YOU continuing your education while helping your kids obtain an education all of the sudden becomes a mandate to abandon your children. Inspire not require suddenly means that you let your children run wild an do whatever they wish unless of course you begin to "inspire" them which is to be interpreted as some sort of emotional manipulation. Give me a break! Lets at least argue about what the system REALLY IS and not what you sensationalize it to be.

Anonymous said...

James, then why the word "not." If Oliver didn't mean it, why create these obscure 8 keys to confuse most folks? Could it be that this confusion is intentional - to get more folks to attend seminars? Just my skeptical mind at work.

J.L.L said...

The problem is that TJEd has been explained and taught and described so many different ways, and in such shifting, vague terms (by DeMille himself even) that TJEd cannot be pinned down. This is why it takes people years to "figure it out." They think the problem is them, that they just "aren't getting it" and that they need to keep going to seminars or whatever until it finally clicks.

That's not the case. It's just a ruse to keep people sticking to it, to never actually feel like they understand it well enough to evaluate it or give it a sufficient try.

When I wrote my blog, I read the official books straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. I am constantly amazed at how so few people do that. I am amazed at how many people would write to me and try to "re-explain" TJEd....and they themselves hadn't read the books. What they were trying to do is twist and bend and make vague the teachings and principles of TJEd so that they didn't sound so bad. But that then would create internal inconsistencies with the whole idea.

And for those that think TJEd critics "sensationalize" it, then you haven't read what DeMille himself has written, how he explains the concepts himself, where he says he got his ideas. You haven't looked at how they used guilt to prevent people from leaving the program. They even say that if you are having doubts that it's your "conveyor-belt" mindset that's the problem, not TJEd (my reason #5).

Go read my blog and see exactly how sensational it is. Better yet, go read the official books. It's bad, and I feel this more strongly now than I did when I wrote the blog a year ago.

There are two groups that TJEd targets: those fearful of homeschooling by themselves and making their own decisions about it, and those that are prideful and want the honors of men without going through the effort. That's no hyperbole. I mean that. That's who I personally know who do TJEd, and that's consistent with their tactics and what groups they try to appeal to.

James F. said...

J.L.L--An awful lot of assumptions you be makin'....

I have read your blog (Are you flattered?). I have read the "official books". I have attended the seminars. I have taken a handful of classes. And yet I have come to different conclusions. I guess I must be one of those people aspiring for the honors of men, eh? Or I just don't want to homeschool alone...which is odd since I'm University level. Anywho, now you know a little of my background so you don't just have to make it up. And yes, you are a sensationalizer too. Sorry I didn't include you in the list.

James F. said...

Okay, so to better illustrate my point I'm going to do something fun. Well I think its fun.

So you got me thinking with all of this talk of the "7 Keys" or 8 or however many. I really don't think that these 7 keys are anything to get upset about. Then I thought about another "7"--how about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Now certainly no one could argue against THAT book/author/methodology? Oh, but they can, and do. All you need to do is read the 1 and 2 star reviews on Amazon to see.

So here is my mash-up of "7 Habits" TRGW or JLL style. Composed of quotes from the 1 and 2 star ratings and my own imaginations.

I don't understand why this book is so popular. It has a few interesting ideas but it's incredibly boring and the advice is not well structured. Covey is just regurgitating the same ideas that have been in self-help books for the last 50 years. The book is simply overrated. If you have common sense and a good set of values and can think for yourself, you don't need this book. On the other hand, if you are a follower who needs a role model to spoon feed you, this book is for you.
Habit 1: Be Proactive: The people that I know that have taken Covey’s advice on this are always assuming that they are responsible for everything little thing that happens to everyone. He is telling people to run around trying to solve all the problems in which they really have so very little control of.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind: You can’t live your life only thinking about the rewards you will get if you do a certain thing. People that only look at the end forget the present. Does Covey really want people to only think about the end and forget everything in between?
Habit 3: Put First Things First: I know people that are so preoccupied by prioritizing every task that they forget what is really important. They think that they need to finish their work goals since the financial rewards are greater than spending more time with their family.
Habit 4: Think Win/Win: So basically we should only do things if we are going to win? We should only do nice things to others if we think they’ll be nice back to us? This is completely ridiculous and even anti-Christian to promote this idea of only doing good if there is something in it for you.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand: This is the same ideology behind negotiating with terrorists. To think that we need to understand everyone before we act is idealistic at best and dangerous at worst. So I’m supposed to try to understand the guy the breaks into my house and holds my family hostage before acting to stop him?!
Habit 6: Synergize, Principles of Creative Cooperation: Wow, Covey must have been running a blank when he got to habit 6. “Hum...how about I just throw in a buzz word like “synergy”?!
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw, Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal: Ah yes, just what we need. People now think they have an excuse to go golfing twice a week, take long vacations, coffee breaks, etc. Why give people excuses to be lazy when writing a book that is suppose to help people live more efficiently?

The Real George Wythe said...

James F -

I believe JLL said that TJED is targeting those two groups, based on his anecdotal experience. He wasn't categorizing you necessarily. On this blog it's best to remember the OPPOSITE of Key #3: attack the issues, not the person.

The Real George Wythe said...

James F -

Can you help me understand better what you're trying to do with this 7 Habits list?

J.L.L said...

He's trying to show that you can critique the 7 Habits the same way TJEd is critiqued.

He makes the mistake that having a similar form of critique somehow validates that critique, that a rebuttal against the points made against TJEd can be made just by showing that another set of ideas can be critiqued in the same way.

J.L.L said...

James F., what classics did Joan of Arc read?

"Find a great leader in history, and you will nearly always find two central elements of their education – classics and mentors. From Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington to Ghandi, Newton and John Locke, to Abigail Adams, Mother Theresa and Joan of Arc – great men and women of history studied other great men and women.” A Thomas Jefferson Education, p. 37

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Alison Moore Smith said...

Holy cow. I just found your blog through your signature link on a T&S comment. And now I find your blogroll links to one of my blogs! Really, knowing how I feel about TJEd (which apparently you do!), you should have told me about this blog sooner!

Next time I get a head-banging-on-the-monitor moment in discussion with TJEders, I'm coming here to calm down. :)

Alison Moore Smith said...

James, being someone who has found Covey's stuff fairly useful, I find your supposed rebuttal funny.

First, because your responses to Covey's stuff is utterly nonsensical. For example:

Begin with the End in Mind: You can’t live your life only thinking about the rewards you will get if you do a certain thing. People that only look at the end forget the present. Does Covey really want people to only think about the end and forget everything in between?

Could you point out how "begin with the end in mind" remotely points to "think only about the end"? Maybe this should be in the straw man post.

OTOH, DeMille DOES take the extreme positions. He doesn't, for example say, "It's about them, but it's also about you." He says, "It's about you, NOT them." He doesn't say, "Think carefully about what you require your kids to do and work hard at inspiring them as well." He says, "Inspire NOT require." And his further quotes back up the EXTREME (and ridiculous) positions he pronounces.

Covey, on the other hand, gives measured, reasonable advice. And OF COURSE it aligns with common sense (unlike DeMille's). Isn't that the point?

And, as has been mentioned, being able to refute any particular philosophy isn't a reasonable defense of any other philosophy. The problem in your thinking starts here:

Now certainly no one could argue against THAT book/author/methodology?

No logical, thinking person would ever claim that a book/author/methodology could not be challenged. You assume a position that I can't imagine an intelligent person taking.

James F. said...

Yes, my posting on Covey is nonsensical. That's kind of my point. What you are doing to DeMille's "7 Keys" doesn't seem any different to me than what I just did with Covey's "7 Habits".

Alison Smith said: "Could you point out how "begin with the end in mind" remotely points to "think only about the end"? Could ANYONE point out to me how "Inspire not Require" means that DeMille thinks children should never be required to do anything? To me I see no difference. You are taking a catchy slogan (DeMille's or Covey's) and interpreting it literally with no allowance for the fact that it is meant to convey an emphasis on "the end in mind" in Covey's case, or an emphasis on "inspire" in Demille's. How is this different?

J.L.L said, James F., what classics did Joan of Arc read? This has already been refuted on your blog. While I concede that this wasn't a good example for DeMille to use since so little is known about her education, it is still certainly conceivable that she did have education in the "classics". Her religious background (received from...oh I don't know, THE BIBLE) certainly is considered classical whether she read it or just heard it preached. She also claims to have seen visions and listened to heavenly messengers...as far as I'm concerned whatever a heavenly messenger tells you is "Classic", yes very classic. And those heavenly messengers are also mentors, something else you deny. But once again, I concede that this isn't the best example for DeMille to have used since so little is known.

But really J.L.L, I know that nothing is going to convince you of anything different than you already think. You already have decided what a "classic" is and what a "mentor" is. Even though your definition doesn't match DeMille's, you are going to judge Demille based on your definitions. Others that allow their personal paradigm to shift and seek to understand what DeMille means by "classics" and "mentors" easily come to see how these elements really are a common denominator in "nearly" all the great leaders.

With all this talk of DeMille, let me further clarify that I have no undying allegiance to this imperfect man or his philosophies. Many of these ideas which he promotes I have personally applied in my life and to my education with positive results. I enjoy my freedom to do so and encourage others to check it out for themselves.

J.L.L said...

Oh, James. You asked, "Could ANYONE point out to me how "Inspire not Require" means that DeMille thinks children should never be required to do anything?"

That's what DeMille says. I guess you haven't read the book:

"Piaget taught that children only learn when their curiosity is not satisfied. Parents and teachers of young children should spark curiosity and then back off - this is their whole role...

"Piaget warns the parent and teacher not to instruct in a forcefeeding way, but rather to incite interest and then leave the child to the wonder of experimentation and self-discovery. We can not think of a more apt description of one of the Seven Keys of Great Teaching: "Inspire, Not Require." Leadership Education, p.26

Remember that DeMille called Piaget one of the four writers of the "gospels" of education.

And this business about my definition of "classics" being different than DeMille's holds no water. You can't say "classics" were important to Thomas Jefferson and that we should follow his example, and then say "classics" are any good book that you can read over and over. It's such an obvious intentional ambiguity of terms that no one buys it.

Using DeMille's definition of "classics" and "mentors" everyone in the history of the world has had them, so then they cannot distinguishing factors for "leaders."

If Joan of Arc's classics only included the Bible, which she couldn't even read, then why spend so much time reading a ton of books? If Abraham Lincoln's mentor was - wait, who was his mentor? No evidence of any. Why do I need a "mentor" who has a "5 Pillar Certification" if no one else on DeMille's list of example leaders had anything similar? Just cuz DeMille says so? Yup, that's right. That's the only reason anyone does anything in TJEd - because DeMille says so. No evidence of support for his claims. They aren't even consistent with each other. It's faith. People do TJEd because of faith only. That's fine for a religion, but not fine for an educational philosophy which DeMille claims to not have "invented" but it only its "biographer." He found the principles through studying great leaders he says, not revelation, yet he cannot provide any proof of his claims. Thus, people doing TJEd only do it out of faith.

R.C. said...

I am curious about the 5 pillars certification. Aren't they creating their own conveyor belt when they have a certification for their own method?

James F. said...

You know J.L.L, I'm not even going to try. I've read through the comments on your blog and it is quite clear that you will not concede the slightest point. Your mind has been made up and is closed.

I am interested in where your line of reasoning takes you from here though. So if a study of classics and mentoring is not necessary (and not desirable?) for a leadership education, then what is a leadership education? Are there any common denominators in the education of great leaders? What would your system look like in trying to replicate this type of education for your own children?

J.L.L said...

"So if a study of classics and mentoring is not necessary (and not desirable?) for a leadership education, then what is a leadership education?"

What a great question, and I wish more people would ask it. But I think there is something wrong with the premise, that there is such a thing as "leadership education." How do you educate someone to become a leader, versus educating someone who is already a leader? Can you even provide "leadership education?"

This gets to the root of why many people do TJEd in my opinion: they want to become a leader (or have their kids become leaders). I understand the desire to be influential to people and to improve society. But I reject the premise that a person can be educated to become a leader.

I personally think we need fewer leaders. We need more people who can tale care of themselves and their families, and can step up to the plate if the call comes. This is a "Cincinnatus Education." Or a "George Washington Education." It seems to be the pattern in history that the best leaders didn't want to be leaders.

So here then is the quandary: you can't teach a person to be a leader, and if he strongly wants to be a leader he probably has already disqualified himself.

What we need first are good people and good families that are resilient to winds of doctrine. Families that are stalwart in doing what's right, but that don't have the notion that they are going to be the leaders of everyone else.

I know so many people that roll their eyes when they start hearing TJEd people talk about how their kids are going to be the leaders. Leaders of who? Only amongst themselves. No one else will give them the time of day. Yet they preach to each other that only through their education and their organizations will leaders be born to set this country right. But there's no way anybody would follow GWC grads or any TJEders, except those in the program.

All George Washington ever wanted to do was go back to his own farm. He did not want to be the General. He did not want to be President. But he did it out of duty, not desire to be a leader. This is what is unteachable in an "education." You can't have classes on duty, on valor, on humility. You can't have simulation on them. It comes about in other ways. But that's where the leaders will come from.

So no, we don't need "leadership education." Leadership skills would be fine. I've been to Platoon Leader's Development Course for the Army. I was an Eagle Scout. Those were fine for teaching leadership skills, but they don't educate people to be leaders. Leadership is about character, not education.

We need "humble, reluctant, self-reliant, stalwart, good-guy education." People will follow a guy like that. And you can get "certified" in that, and you can't read a book on that, and you can't be mentored for that.

R.C. said...

I made the point earlier: Barack Obama graduated from law school a year before GWC/U was founded.

Why hasn't TJED produced any leaders?

I think JLL's comment is correct, and I don't know if there is a way to educate a leader.

It is similar to the 'who needs higher education?' debate - does an MBA guarantee that one will become a great business leader? Does a PhD in biology guarantee that a one will make large contributions in science?

It is up to the individual, not the mentor nor the curriculum to make a leader.

R.C. said...

James F - One last comment. You can easily accuse people of being closed minded, however, you must not remember that JLL made up his mind based on the fact that he actually did try TJED in his family and found out that it was a bad program. Why would anyone who experienced TJED that way want to continue being open minded (and open-walleted, I might add)?

James F. said...

R.C.--I don't mean that being "open minded" is doing a 180. I mean trying to understand opposing views and when (it really should happen to everyone) you find that one of your points was weak that you concede--even just a point. Not an entire idea, or argument, but occasionally everyone finds that they must concede a point. You R.C. have occasionally done so, however in reading J.L.L's blog, I quite literally haven't seen him concede the least point. And that is my point. And I think that is being closed minded.

With that said, I appreciate your post and explanation J.L.L. And I would concede that I take for granted that my experience with GWU and TJEd is just like other people's. I don't live near anyone else that does TJEd and I don't personally associate with families that subscribe to this educational model. So I didn't know that there are some (perhaps even many by your account) that think that their children are going to be the next Thomas Jefferson just because of the type of education system which they use. I would agree that is quite presumptuous.

My goals and objectives with GWU and TJEd are much more of what you describe as a "Cincinnatus Education". I don't like public life and while I would consider local politics in the far future (I'm only in my 20s) the real application of my education is in my family and businesses. If that was the only application for my education I ever had in my life, I would still consider it well worth it.

With that said, I would reply to you R.C. that naming the leaders that have come out of GWU is impossible. It is a personal quest and if most of them are only leaders in their family, school, and church, then it still wasn't a fruitless endeavor.

You make a good point J.L.L that being a leader is more about character than knowledge. I have heard this admitted by DeMille himself--that their programs are built around developing character. You can argue whether they are effective at doing so, but there is an emphasis on this. You seem to argue that there is no system or methodology that can develop character, and while I agree in part--if that were truly the case then what is the purpose of any sort of religious program? Certainly there are steps, responsibilities, and studies that can aid a person in developing character.

I concede that this notion GWU puts forth that they as a University "produce leaders" is wrong. I think it is a problem of semantics though, and not the University trying to deceive since by their own admission there are many factors that come together in the development of a great leader, only a few of which factors they can even control.

I disagree in part that wanting to be a leader is a disqualification for being a leader. While certainly there are bad leaders that desperately want the power of leadership (they are still leaders--I personally consider Bill Clinton one of such men) there are also good leaders that felt it was their responsibility to lead--even to the point that I would say they "wanted" to lead. John Adams comes to mind as one such individual. In reading his personal correspondences which are available, it really seems to me that he wanted to be President of the US. It wasn't self-serving, but nonetheless he wanted it. It was more feeling of destiny and purpose than selfishness. He seems to have felt that he had the right answers and solutions and that if he wasn't in leadership, lesser men would make the wrong choices.

I can't judge the hearts of all those at GWU and those that do TJEd. Certainly there are those that act in selfishness. And certainly there are those that act out of a sense of responsibility and purpose. Its impossible to know which makes up the greater populace.

J.L.L said...

Well I think what most TJEd parents have done is modify TJEd. They've strayed from what DeMille says. That's good. There certainly seems to be a division with a thick black line between the two groups: those that like the idea of TJEd and are trying it out, and those that claim to have figured it out and are selling their advice and expertise. The nice ones constantly struggle with it because they honestly try to do what DeMille says. The more scrupulous ones sell to the struggling ones how they supposedly did it.

I've seen people give it their all, then in frustration and disappointment give up on it, because they couldn't pull it off. They didn't realize that no one pulls it off. I sense from them that they feel they have failed in their mission to raise leaders, and they just humbly accept that. They don't disavow TJEd. They just consider themselves insufficient for it.

R.C. is right. Where are the leaders? This notion of a "personal leader" is just another intentional ambiguity of terms to explain away the failure of it. They cannot claim to "building statesmen" and then not produce any. They can't then change it to mean "statesmen of yourself" (or whatever). That was my final reason to not do TJEd: no leaders come out of it. What I thought were problems with TJEd are supported by the results.

How you raise leaders has been an unanswered question forever. But again, wrong question. How do we create good, strong individuals who can lead others if required, is a better question. But the goal should not be to be a leader, but to be a good, strong person. Period. How do you think good character is developed? I don't think I know for sure, but I'd think that service is important. I have a lot of trust in an individual that provides service for no other benefit, and who does it quietly and unseen. I enjoy being around people who are satisfied with just being a father or mother.

But from TJEd and GWC there's all this talk of "greatness" and "leadership." I have not been impressed with the characters of people who are the experts in TJEd. Even some of the "regulars."

The only success I've seen with TJEd and GWC is convincing some people to be part of it. The competition and the efforts to influence others seems to be focused only on those in the program. And much of the efforts seem to only be to get ahead in the organization, not for any meaningful effect on society. That's why there is a new "Sons of _____" group created every time I turn around, which only lasts six months. Or some new "Virtual Academy" that boasts a curriculum in the greatness of American Heritage, and which has all but about 15 kids and doesn't last even a semester. But hey, it looks good to all the other TJEders, and it fulfills the "Mission Phase" or some certification.

Last point: you say I haven't conceding any points. That's right. I only argue for things I feel strongly about, and I usually only feel strongly about something after doing my due diligence on learning about it. This has not been an effort to find out about TJEd for me. I'm past that. But I would like to consider myself as "open-minded with strong convictions."

But a lot of TJEd people have gotten themselves in predicaments when they try to defend the principles in TJEd when they don't understand them or they don't really believe them. So people start trying to substitute what they are doing (which has TJEd influences) with what DeMille says to do for TJEd. But people often don't see them as different, or realize how bad DeMille's teachings are. Regardless, the more people abandon TJEd principles the better.

I wish people would read the Nursery and Primary manuals and use that for the basis of their methodology and philosophy of child instruction, and just teach their kids at home to be good people and have knowledge of things, places, and ideas. Then I think we'd be just fine.

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Anonymous said...

Mister Bell,

I'm sure you're aware that Cleon Skousen's drink of choice was Postum, and he didn't drink coffee.


Yep. Those whole grains kept him regular so he was free to exaggerate (http://ernie1241.googlepages.com/skousen).

James F. said...

I'm trying my darnedest to understand what you are saying J.L.L. I agree with much of what you are saying, but I don't see how it contradicts DeMille's ideas. You take him much more literally than I do. Perhaps that is my fault--but I have also on many occasions heard him lecture. I feel that I am interpreting his words and ideas correctly and yet I understand this all so differently than you do.

I'm seeing that in large measure we apply much different definitions to some key words. A "leader" is one such word. I really figured that when DeMille was talking about a leader or even a statesman, he wasn't talking about an elite group in government or business. It really could be as simple as a father. Or a small business owner. Or even a manager. There is leadership at all levels. You see this as a cop out--but it is really how I have understood the word as DeMille uses it. In fact I'm pretty sure I heard DeMille describe it that way. Maybe I'm wrong. But maybe you are wrong.

And this continues on with all the key words of this debate. Education, textbook, classic, inspire, require, mentor, professor, building statesmen, etc. etc.

If we can't agree on how DeMille defines these words, then the rest of the discussion is really pointless.

R.C. said...

GWU's motto is "Building Statesmen" - how much of that do you have to strip down and define? They are trying to build political leaders. How hard is that to understand? Why else do their grads who actually go to accredited schools go to law school? Why else do they try to work with UN lobby groups? Why else are their models mostly politicians?

If they were only trying to influence families, then they would offer parenting classes. If they were trying to influence business, then they might have an MBA (why not since they offer other unaccredited degrees)?

Instead they give degrees in "statesmanship" and "constitutional law".

Their examples of leaders brought about political change for the most part. And their keynote speaker, Glenn Beck, who just lost a bunch of advertisers for a stupid comment he made, is has a political talk show.

You can't convince me that they don't mean political leadership at GWU.

James F. said...

Yep. You win.

I was never trying to argue that it ISN'T about government. My point is that education and mentoring is important in building leaders no matter what level they are currently at. Just because a GWU grad hasn't been elected to a national office doesn't mean that GWU isn't providing a great foundation for graduates to build on. The whole "building statesmen" kind of suggests a process, don't you think? You're acting like the slogan is "manufacturing statesman".

So in your view, is EVERYTHING at GWU an unmitigated disaster? Do you really think that students leave worse off than they come? Do you think that the study of classics (which you don't oppose) is somehow countered by a heavy dose of indoctrination, rendering all that study useless?

J.L.L said...

He's not selling TJEd as being a "leader of yourself":

"Greatness is the second indispensable trait of true leaders; goodness is the first. Both are the function of education." Leadership Education, p.2

"Never fear your own greatness" (DeMille quoting Dobson) Leadership Education, p.156

"'At some point in your life,' I said, 'you will face a situation where you are in a leadership positions and dozens - maybe thousands or millions - look to you to lead.'" A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.3

"The leaders of the future will come from schools, homes, colleges, universities and organizations where classics, mentors, and other elements of Thomas Jefferson Education are cherished and seriously pursued." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.113

"Where are the new American Founders of the Twenty-first Century? None of us know who those statesmen will be. But his I do know - the great statesmen and stateswomen of the future will be prepared through the Five Pillars of Statesmanship." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.133

"The education of tomorrow's leaders will determine the future, rather than the education of the masses. Leadership determines destiny." Leadership Education, p.1 (emphasis original)

"Picture the face of each of your children or grandchildren. Look into their eyes and see what potential is there. If you are like most parents, you will see and feel that they were born to be special, to make a difference. This is not just because you love them; it is because it is true...They deserve the highest quality of education, and it is our responsibility to help them get it." Leadership Education, p.4 (emphasis original)

"Today's children were born to serve and make a huge positive difference in the world, to really lead. We simply must get the them the best possible education." Leadership Education, p.6

"This model is based solidly on the experience of great leaders of history and how they were educated - the great statesmen, thinkers, artists, businessmen, generals, historians, philosophers, mathematicians, prophets, sages, composers, and entrepreneurs. 'Success' may be possible without a superb Leadership Eduction, but lasting freedom is not." Leadership Education, p.207

R.C. said...

From "The First Fifteen Years", (By Shanon Brooks)
Pages 19-20:

“Once I made the decision, I looked back up at the stars. Abruptly, in my imagination I saw a room full of legislators.”
Oliver later related what he pictured at that time:

The Speaker taps the gavel twice and calls for the vote. You sit back in your office chair, turn from the TV, close your eyes and ponder. At home, your family is gathered in the living room, also watching it on television. Your married children and grandchildren watch from their respective homes and places of business around the country. Nearly everyone is watching. The media have been discussing it for weeks, and are now giving a play-by-play account as Congress votes. Suddenly everything goes quiet.
A gasp goes through the House; you hear another ripple down the hall. You sit riveted, eyes wide open, unbelieving. How could this have happened?

You reach for the remote control, but before you can turn it off, you hear a new voice. ‘No.’ The tone is gentle but firm. ‘No,’ it says again. The camera pans the House chamber, and stops on a young Congressman toward the back. He begins to speak. He is quiet, firm, confident. His words are not rhetoric; they are common sense, they are timeless and speak deeply to our condition, to our struggles. You begin to nod your head. He speaks to our time, yet is rooted in history. His words are simple, and his suggestions direct. Other heads nod. He is brief, and ends with a motion.
A strange and familiar emotion fills the hall. Light and truth. You feel it also. The floor stirs awkwardly. Then slowly, very slowly, another stands with courage and seconds the motion. And then another, and soon, another.

A final vote is taken. And while time stands still—a decision is reversed. The course of history changed on a few words.
But words like these take years to learn. Years of struggle and testing. Of right choices, and wrong choices followed by course corrections. Years of intense study, of prayer and devotion. Years of work in the military, in a sales position, in a struggling young home, in a managerial job, or in the risk years of launching a new business. But early lessons learned on the farm or in the boardroom are not forgotten. And the voices of mentors are remembered still.

Truth from the classroom and real life combine, and virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage converge to sway the course of history. Not just in the bodies of world power, but in our businesses, communities, schools, courtrooms, and homes.

So much depends on statesmanship.

After imagining this that evening, in Oliver’s words, “I walked back into the house and told Rachel I was going to stick it out. She said we would stick it out, whatever it took. I really saw that young man, in my mind’s eye, and I knew that if we built George Wythe College, men and women like him would get the education they need. I wouldn’t quit.”


Political leadership is the goal and the vision that keeps this school alive.

James F. said...

Dudes! I've never denied that its about political world domination! My only point is that it isn't all worthless and proven ineffective just because no one has made it there yet. There is still time. Sheesh.

But thank you for the quotes--quite moving really.

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jaradoron said...

Thanks for the traffic you sent to my blog and the interesting comments I got to read both here and on my blog. I enjoy reading your posts. Fascinating!!

The Real George Wythe said...

No problem jaradoron, you've made some excellent points over there--your post and responses to the comments have been fun to read. Keep up the good work!!