Noah Webster Defines Education

Webster in his 1928 dictionary: “Education comprehends all that series of instruction  and discipline which is intended to 1) enlighten the understanding, 2) correct the temper, 3) form the habits and manners of youth and 4) fit them for usefulness in their future stations…”

Noah Webster House

Where are all the great teachers?  Do you want to know why a good number of our country’s kids are failing? Because great teachers are few and hard to find. NOTE to all of my GREAT teacher friends: This EXCLUDES YOU! So if the shoe doesn’t fit, please don’t wear it 🙂

I posted Noah Webster‘s definition of education because I want you to see why some of America’s kids are failing in so many areas. Over the past few decades learning institutions have only focused on the first definition : 1) Enlighten the understanding. The system has been more concerned with pouring knowledge into young minds, only to have the students  regurgitate it back on a test paper and the bottom line has been to raise proficiency levels. But is that TRUE education? Not by a long shot my friend.


The second and 3rd definitions are crucial and now a days completely overlooked: 2) correct the temper, 3) form the habits and manners of youth. By throwing out principle #2 and #3, we have the rudest, obstinate and obnoxious youth who have no regard for authority of any kind. Yes, they may have some knowledge about some things, but what good is that when they can’t even treat their fellow members of society with respect? And does knowledge alone mean that the they will be fit for usefulness in their future stations as per the 4th definition of education? Don’t be fooled!

All I hear is a lot of adults complaining about how bad these kids are today and they do nothing about it. I once knew a young man who was very rude. Several times I hemmed his pants, free of charge because he knew I was also a seamstress. He continued being rude to me when I’d run into him in public. Just when I had enough of it, he called me one day to see if I’d fix his new pair of pants. I flat out refused and I told him no. He was clearly offended and demanded to know why. I calmly told him that I didn’t go out of my way for rude people; learn some manners and then call me. I never heard from him again. When I shared the story with a neighbor, he chastised me reminding me , “He’s just a kid.”

Really? What a perfect excuse and that’s what many parents do now a days. At 3 years old Jimmy -Joe can yell at his mom and spit in her face and she lets him get by with it because after all, ” He’s just a little kid.” What she doesn’t realize is that kind of behavior grows old quick and one day it’s not cute anymore. Stop kidding yourselves. You reap what you sow: You let wild weeds grow in your kid’s heart and one day they’ll choke both of you.

Wild Weeds Took Over

A great number of America’s kids are lost because they have no one giving them the tools they need to carry on in life. Great teachers will not overlook the 4 principles Noah Webster used to define education. Great teaching credentials don’t make for a great teacher.


“Education is very much, I’ve always thought, just like the real estate business: there are three things that matter: location, location, location is the old joke. Well in education, it is: quality of teacher, quality of teacher, quality of teacher. And I would — if I had the ability, which nobody does really, to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them, and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”

-New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
There should not be many teachers among you, my brethren, but you should know that we will incur greater judgment.

2 thoughts on “Noah Webster Defines Education

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