Winter 2018: True and False Education in the Time of the End Part 3
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We have read that "The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for man throughout all aftertime," 2 that "a model school was established in Eden," 3 and "true education is still conformed to the Creator's plan, the plan of the Eden school."4

In 1897, God's people were told, "Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education." 5 This is important! The next sentence tells just how important. "If we fail to understand this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God." 6 How could words be any stronger?

As a step toward true education, "Our children should be removed from the evil influences of the public school and placed where thoroughly converted teachers may educate them in the Holy Scriptures." 7

Written the same year, 1897, "Teachers should be employed to educate the children of Sabbath-keepers." 8 These needed to be extraordinary teachers who would "educate the children in the truths of the Word of God, which are so essential for these last days, and which it is so important for them to understand." 9 Why? "A great test is coming: it will be upon obedience or disobedience to the commandments of God." 10

Goodloe Harper Bell was such a teacher. He attended Oberlin College11 until his family moved to Michigan, where further study on his own qualified him to teach. Doing therapeutic outdoor work at Battle Creek Health Institute, he was so approachable, neighbor boys went to him for help with their lessons.

After Edson and Willie asked James White to let Brother Bell be their teacher, a few families got together and hired him. "He was open to new ideas; and, very largely under the influence of Mrs. White's suggestions, he instituted new methods of teaching, lessening the burden of memory work, prescribing persistent investigation and research, and inviting original thinking and expression." 12

The focus was to "educate the children in the truths of the Word of God, which are so essential for these last days." 13 When their cottage became too cramped, the school moved to a house the General Conference owned. More growth mandated another move, to the new Battle Creek Church. This little school grew into our college for ministers.

God was shielding His church from the godless forces gaining control of education, in 1897 "as never before." The 1828 definition of education reflects an earlier way of thinking: "To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable." 14

CCO Creative Commons https://pixabay.com/en/still-life-school-retro-ink-851328/

But times and ideas were changing. "In the final years of the last century [1800s], a great transformation began in American education." 15 Origin of Species was published in 1859, and "Science, tinged more and more with Darwinism, elbowed out divinity." 16

At the University of Leipzig in Germany, Dr. Wilhelm Wundt was transforming psychology (a philosophy) into a science through laboratory experiments. Americans earned prestigious German doctorates from him, started experimental psychology labs in the U.S., and trained teachers in a theory of teaching completely foreign to "the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers." 17

Teaching began to be viewed as "the art of giving and withholding stimuli with the result of producing or preventing certain responses." 18 If that reminds you of Pavlov's dogs, it is not far off. "To Dewey, as to Wundt, man was an animal," and Dewey's Psychology, published in 1896, was "the most widely-read and quoted textbook used in schools of education in this country." 19

Education became "oriented more toward the socialization of the child than toward the development of intellect." 20 This led to the idea that "The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students." 21

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James Cattell, Wundt's former assistant, became head of Columbia University's psychology department in 1891. His publications brought experimental psychology into the mainstream of American thought. He and his colleagues "directly influenced the fusion of experimental psychology and American education." 22 ne change was replacing phonics with experimental based sight reading in American schools.

Like Cattell, James Earl Russell received his doctorate from Leipzig. He came to Columbia in 1897 and ran their Teachers College for 30 years, building the largest institution in the world for training teachers. "Thus, in 1897, the stage was about to be set for the propagation of Wundt' s laboratory psychology throughout American education." 23

Since that time, as never before, God's people need to understand and follow the Creator's educational plan: Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator - individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men's thought." 24


Judy Kjaer is the wife of Kim Kjaer.


1. 1798 onward, Daniel 12:4

2. Education, p.20

3. Ibid.

4. Education, p.30

5. The Christian Educator August 1, 1897; Mind, Character, and Personality Volume 1, p. 53; Advocate, November 1, 1900; General Council Bulletin April 1, 1898; General Council Daily Bulletin, February
28, 1899; Pamphlet 140, p.6; and the Spalding and Magan Collection, p.56

6. Ibid.

7. Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, p.204

8. Pamphlet 140, p.24, December 15, 1897.

9. Pamphlet 140, p.24

10. Ibid.

11. See E.A. Sutherland's Studies in Christian Education for a description of Oberlin College.

12. Spalding, A.W., Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, vol.2, p.117

13. Pamphlet 140, p.24

14. Webster's 1828 Dictionary, defining education

15. Lionni, Paolo, THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION The Systematic Destruction of American Education, Preface

16. Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, vol.2, p.113

17. Education, p.13, description of true education

18. Thorndike, The Principles of Teaching based on Psychology (1906)

19. Iserbyt, Charlotte, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, p.5

20. THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION, p.10

21. Bloom, Benjamin, All Our Children Learning, p.180.

22. THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION, p.23

23. THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION, p.25

24. Education, p.17

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