A Thomas Jefferson Education/Leadership Education

by Mary Ann on May 6, 2010

It will be instructive for those who know about the Thomas Jefferson model of Education and those who are new to the subject to have a basic review of some of the more important elements.

Leadership education, which Oliver DeMille called “Jefferson Education,” teaches students how to think and prepares them to be leaders in their homes and communities, entrepreneurs in business, and statesmen in government.

Leadership education has three primary goals; to train students to do the right thing and to do it well in business, government, school, church, and family. Second, to perpetuate freedom by preparing people who know what freedom is, what is required to maintain it and who will do what is required. The third is to teach students how to think, which allows the first two goals to be achieved.

There are three important keys to Leadership education; it is individualized, it takes structure, and it uses the classics and mentors. During the core and love of learning phases the principle mentor is the parent.

One of my favorite quotes from this book is this, “The only person who can fix education is the student.” This puts education squarely on the shoulders of the person responsible, the child. We as parents mentor and guide and let the child learn. We do not mandate that he learn. We structure time not content and trust that our child can and will learn. As Oliver DeMille reminds us, great teaching inspires students to educate themselves. From their earliest years The Spark Station helps parents to help their children do just that.

For those who would like a further study on the details of the Jefferson education model I would recommend that you read: Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning and A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century both by Rachel and Oliver DeMille; A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion by Oliver DeMille, Rachel DeMille and Diann Jeppson.

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