Teaching for Commitment: Liberal Education, Indoctrination, and Christian Nurture by Elmer John Thiessen
Thiessen calls for reconstruction of the Enlightenment ideal of liberal education from which the charge of indoctrination typically arises. He argues that liberal education necessarily builds on nurture and therefore needs to be more sensitive to the traditions into which a child is initiated. The ideals of autonomy, rationality, and critical openness - all closely related to the ideal of liberal education - need to be modified if they are to be both realistic and philosophically defensible. Once this is done it can be seen that confessional religious education without indoctrination is possible. Teaching for Commitment is an interdisciplinary study covering the fields of religion, philosophy, epistemology, ethics, and education. The very practical nature of the problem being examined, and Thiessen's straightforward and non-technical presentation, will be of interest to parochial and public school boards, teachers, and parents, as well as religious institutions, educationalists, and philosophers of education.