Education as commodity or formation?

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Marva J. Dawn


One of the best reasons for honoring Sonja Stewart is that her work for the formation of children as worshipers gives superb materials and an even more crucial model of ways to teach that oppose and thwart the North American cultural ethos of commodification.

That ethos stifles good education. Persons are trained by our society to look only for the right devices that produce the commodities they can consume. Everything becomes utilitarian. Education, especially, is deadened; curiosity and genuine formation are destroyed by glut.

Let's begin by examining more deeply the nature of our technological culture and the reasons that it is so deadly to genuine education. To do this, we will consider the analysis of Albert Borgmann, philosophy professor at the University of Montana in Missoula. He will enable us to comprehend more thoroughly the fundamental spirit of the technological milieu so that we can see more clearly the ways that Sonja Stewart's insights liberate us from its control. Borgmann's suggestions for reform, furthermore, will help us follow Stewart's model more adeptly for the sake of education in our churches.

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How to Cite
Dawn, M. J. (2003). Education as commodity or formation?. Reformed Review, 57(1), 25-38. Retrieved from
Technology -- Social aspects; Christian education; Church and education; Technology -- Religious aspects; Technology and civilization