Education Today has to Encourage Young People to Decide for Themselves and to Commit Themselves

Today, pluralisation is found not only in external ways of living but also in the underlying scales of values. Children today are confronted with different, even contradictory, moral concepts — not least through television that broadcasts them into every child’s room — to a degree that was inconceivable in the past. Lack of orientation and a relativity of values can be the result. Such a situation requires an education that helps the child to decide for himself and to commit himself. More than in earlier times, young people have to learn to take well-founded decisions between contrasting moral concepts, views and ways of living and to commit themselves to self-chosen objectives. All of us know that, today, the ability of man to commit himself has enormously decreased. Thus, education in families and schools has to try to counteract this deficiency.


Here lies an educational chance of free work. In free work, the child learns to take decisions independently and to stick to them unless he has convincing reasons not to do so. One should not forget that the organisation of one’s leisure time, too, requires to a great degree the ability to choose between a huge amount of different possibilities and to take well-founded decisions unless one is willing to expose oneself helplessly to the influences of leisure time industry.


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