Agriculture Instruction & Educational Thoughts
There are three foundations from which to pursue the activity of teaching people:
1. As a person with expert knowledge and training
2. As a person with experience
3. As observation and facts that are self-evident when presented.
The first is the easiest to fake. The second is harder. The third is the most convincing and relies on the hearer's own sense of reason and logic to convince him. The first two may endeavor to convince him in spite of his own reason and logic. If people accept that you have #1, they may still not believe that you have the other 2. If they believe that you have #2, they will assume that you probably have #1, but they may still conclude that you don't have #3. If they see that you have #3 they will conclude that you also have #2 , or they may not even worry about your credentials, because the truth you present is self-evident, and commends itself to the reasoning mind.
In education you must teach people how to learn and how to think. Many people really don't know how to learn, or how to think for themselves. They have been taught to simply reflect the thoughts of others, and have been rewarded for how well they could do so. Traditional education is largely a system of rewarding people for how well they can reflect someone else's thoughts. True education does not consist of giving lectures and tests. It teaches people how to find facts and information, how to assess those facts and information, and how to draw correct conclusions. It teaches people how to use the knowledge gained this way to the best advantage. It teaches a person how to be observant, how to "see" what they are looking at. The difference between sermons and lectures is that a sermon is a lecture on a religious topic. Sermons and lectures have their place, but they are only a small part of a total program that has true balance for education, and for spiritual development.
In teaching agriculture it is important to understand that all true and lasting prosperity comes from the earth, from the very soil as it were. The more directly we obtain our sustenance from the soil, the more secure will be our future heath, development, and prosperity. True prosperity is not measured by amount of money. Health is one of the important aspects of prosperity. There are many ways in which growing your own food contributes to health.
It is working in direct cooperation with God.
It enables you to be much less dependant on economic fluctuations.
It provides health-giving outdoor activity.
There are demonstrated health benefits from physical contact with the soil.
Supplying your own food gives you a great sense of satisfaction that is similar to not being in debt. It contributes to a sense of independence that is noble and uplifting.
It provides many opportunities to learn and develop important traits of character.
It enables you to be a reliable steward of the land, improving it as a responsible person.
It enables you to grow food that is more healthful and fresh than you can otherwise get.
It develops as little else can the ability to reason from cause to effect,-- practical common sense.
It avoids many of the avenues of taxation that apply to other directions of increase
It gives you a more direct connection with the "dust of the earth" from which we were created (Gen. 2) and which we go back to at death.