Today we are all looking at the words of Abraham Lincoln, born 200 years ago today. We also celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, another man whose works continue to shake society. That must have been an amazing planetary alignment the day these men were born.
At school today we were reminded of the words of Col. Francis Parker, Civil War veteran and educator of educators – from his Talks on Pedagogics, published in 1894 –
Fighting for four years in the Civil War, as best I could, for the preservation of the democratic ideal, a teacher of little children for nearly forty years, I believe four things, as I believe in God – that
democracy is the one hope of the world; that democracy without efficient common schools is impossible; that every school in the land should be made a home and a heaven for children; fourth, that when the ideal of the public school is realized, “the blood shed by the blessed martyrs for freedom will not have been shed in vain.”
I guess I believe these four things as well.
Photo of Parker from the school archives.