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detail of front cover of Plough Quarterly No. 19

Plough Quarterly No. 19: School for Life

Winter 2019

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front cover of Plough Quarterly No. 19

About This Issue

“What’s the point of school?” Parents have a stock set of responses to repeat, but the question remains unsettled, even two centuries after the Prussians invented compulsory education. The Prussian idea of what a school is for – to mold the populace to serve the state – seems foreign to today’s liberal democracy. In vogue, instead, are slogans like “acquiring marketable skills” and “realizing your full potential.” These ideas powerfully shape our culture, thanks not least to their influence in the Silicon Valley worldview we live and breathe. But ultimately, they boil down to pursuing one supreme value: individual success in a competitive world.

Schools are a mirror of our society as a whole; what we want for schools makes plain what and whom we value in our common life. In the Christian tradition, the life of discipleship is also a school. In this educational community, under the instruction of our one Teacher, we learn not to seek empowerment, but to find strength in weakness; not to out-achieve others, but to serve them; not to pursue our passion, but to obey a call.