Today’s Schools Should Emulate The Education That Produced Abraham Lincoln:
Would our schools have prepared Abraham Lincoln to give us the Gettysburg Address or Second Inaugural? Do they aspire to?
"Lincoln is endlessly fascinating. His family followed the frontier, and his accomplishments came in spite of the limited time he spent in a schoolhouse, among them some of the finest examples of political rhetoric in the English language.
"So how did he do it, and what can we learn from his example? The present mantra in secondary education is “college and career readiness.” Lincoln invites an uncomfortable question: Had Lincoln attended a school on the vanguard of the college and career readiness movement, would it have prepared him for future greatness? Would Lincoln have become Lincoln?
Lincoln’s selection of books is remarkable: Instead of “Captain Underpants” or “Twilight,” he read Aesop, Shakespeare, Plutarch, William Blackstone, and the Bible. Instead of test prep guides, he carefully studied schoolhouse textbooks in arithmetic and geometry. Instead of drafting a business plan and preparing a PowerPoint presentation, he studied collections of notable speeches and kept a copybook of poetry and learned lengthy passages by heart.
Lincoln received exactly the education he needed if he was to sustain his resolve to seek justice as he shepherded the nation through the horrors of civil war.