Foundations   
Streifling, David

 


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Teacher Participating in Decision Making:
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Kuku, Samson Mwanus  & Taylor, John Wesley 

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as a Second Language   

Streifling, Jean

Ellen White and the "Harmonious Development" Concept   
Taylor, John Wesley  



Schools that Work: America's Most Innovative
Public Education Programs
Wood, George
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As Nature Made Him
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The 21st Century Supervisor
Humphrey, Brad & Stokes, Jeff
Reviewed by Suranjan K. Baroi



    

Foundations


       It was nearly a generation ago that Mervin, a cousin of my mother, was planning to retire.  He and his wife had worked hard all throughout their adult years.  They had raised a number of children; and were looking forward to the later years of life to enjoy their growing number of grandchildren, and the fruits of their labors.  In anticipation, they sold the old family home , really not much more than a shack, and added to the proceeds of the sale their life’s savings.  Then with just a little help from the bank, they were able to purchase their dream home.

       The new home was actually a few months old, and one of the first few to be built in a brand new sub-division.   The site was a gently-sloping hillside, on the one side framed by mountains rising steeply above, and on the other over-looking a broad valley below.  The house was built on a poured concrete foundation which had been water-proofed and backfilled with soil to form a basement, a lower storey situated almost entirely below ground level.

      The optimistic couple moved in, and took the greatest pleasure in getting settled, arranging their things, and adding just the right touches to make the perfect retirement home.  They were so happy that it really didn’t matter to them that they would have to work for a year or two longer to pay off the bank mortgage.  The setting was perfect, and the view from their living and dining rooms was fabulous. Their lives seemed to be full and complete.  Then, only a few months after moving in, Mervin noticed a tiny crack in the concrete basement wall.  Not really concerned, the thought that the house was probably just settling.  But as the months went by, the crack continued to widen.  And then another crack appeared on a second wall. 

       “We’ll need to get those cracks repaired,” said Mervin to his wife .  “If we don’t, when the spring thaw occurs, we’ll have a flood in the basement.”  And so they had them repaired.  But the following summer the original cracks had become yawing breaks in the basement walls.  It became apparent that what was happening was more than normal settling of a new building.  Then one of the neighbours mentioned that he was having problems with cracks in his basement.  He was really concerned.  Other neighbours became involved in a widening circle of concern.  General worry and apprehension now replaced the earlier optimism of Mervin and his wife.  It gradually became clear that all of the nearly-new houses along that part of their street were experiencing similar problems.

       Looking for explanations, the neighbours together approached the city government.  They learned that the building permits had been appropriately secured and were on file, and that the building contractor’s reputation was impeccable.  A building inspector would visit the site to make a first-hand assessment of the situation.  That visit added further concern when the inspector noted that not only were the houses breaking apart, but that the adjoining roadways were also beginning to break up.  The inspector returned to his office, worried and determined to find out what was happening.  It was his research that eventually revealed the source of the problem.  A garbage dump had existed on that very site in by-gone years!  Although it had been closed down more than 70 years prior to the development of the sub-division, although when it was closed down it had been backfilled to cover the deposit of garbage, and although trees had grown over the concealed garbage in the meantime, this was the source of their problem , GARBAGE!

       Small comfort when a year or two after this discovery, that same building inspector found it necessary in the line of duty to “condemn” a number of the most seriously affected houses, including that of Mervin and his wife.  Small comfort for the now-retired couple who without compensation (insurance companies don’t cover building on garbage, and the city government would provide only token compensation), faced the grim reality of having no home, and no resources with which to buy another one.

       Education too must have a foundation.  Unless we have made a conscious effort to avoid doing so, we too may be building upon garbage, however beautifully concealed.  We may look to the broader society for direction and purpose, we may look to history, to psychology, to philosophy, we may even look to religion.  But all of these, including religion, will be found to be empty cisterns, unless they in turn are built upon the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.  As the well known Christian writer, Ellen White, has stated it:

       . . . in education . . . “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  “It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fullness dwell.”  1 Cor 3:11; Col 1:19 RV.      


        When in education the ideas and theories of men are allowed to replace the precepts and example of Jesus Christ, we will find that our educational system is built upon GARBAGE.

 

David R. Streifling, PhD
Editor, Info Journal
Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies
Silang, Cavite , Philippines