One of my favorite quotes is, “The glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth.” Ever since I started to question what knowledge was, my father would always quote this passage of scripture to me, and it made me think harder about what intelligence really was. I have found that intelligence is both secular and spiritual, especially in the field of education.
For example, as students understand truth about any secular subject, their lives are more filled with the light of knowledge and understanding. Their way of thinking is broadened to accept new ideas when they are taught various strategies in math, reading comprehension techniques, and tolerance in social studies. Though they are learning secular subjects, it makes a great difference when a teacher has an open attitude. Then students will be able to feel the truth of the lessons taught, and their spirits will be touched.
I will never forget the day when I was working in a first-grade classroom and teaching a read-aloud lesson from “The Rainbow Fish” and emphasized loving and appreciating who you are as a person. After reading the story and telling the students collectively how much worth they are to many people, I saw a light in their eyes I had never seen before; one that reflected truth and understanding. That day, the secular met the spiritual.
The secular and spiritual meet in education as every learner realizes that the more of the world they come to learn about, the less they really know. Secular knowledge is good when it is balanced with humility. This concept first came true for me as I entered college. Though I was learning so much more about the world and how it functions than ever before, I knew that I still had so much more to learn, and it would take a lifetime to learn it. I’ve never felt discouraged though, because I know that as I continue to search “out the best books words of wisdom,” I’ll be filled with more light and truth.
For those of you who are more interested in how the secular and spiritual meet in education, I highly recommend the book, “Learning in the Light of Faith,” by Henry B. Eyring. This book shows how the spiritual and secular really do meet together.
Are there some of you who have felt that the secular and spiritual do meet in public education, though one is not addressed?