Significance of Freemasonry to Public School Education

Methodology

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to provide evidence that the Freemasons advocated free public school education through the Liberal arts from a historical perspective. There will be no unsupported inferences; no unsubstantiated claims; just the indication of an influence, a direction, and general support of public education by the Freemasons. The research will be guided by historical writings that will validate the Freemasons involvement in public education curricula. The study will answer the following questions

  • What evidence demonstrates and supports Freemasonry’s historical involvement within the Liberal arts curricula of public school education?
  • What is the impact of Freemasonry’s writers on the development of Liberal arts curriculum in public education?
  • Does current public school curriculum contain Masonic beliefs that originate from historical writings?

Design of the Study

The study will use qualitative designs, and the population will involve reports from government officials, churches, and the Freemasonry writers. The study will make a careful qualitative observation of data from a historical perspective in order to establish its validity. The validity of the philosophical writings will be assessed in order to identify whether the writings hold unclear objectives towards the educational curricular. Finally, the study will assess whether the learners’ beliefs are influenced through the Freemasonry curricular in a qualitative manner.

This study will be based on three elements, which include

  • Time factor, which takes into account the amount of time taken before the effects of the Freemasonry beliefs became evident in public school.
  • Whether there was a presence of other organizations, which engaged themselves in the public schools’ education curriculum.
  • Whether there were several measures and observations taken at various points of the study in order to assess the extent of the Freemasonry involvement.

The study design will include materials that are grounded with theories of education from a historical point of view. These include the philosophical writings of Preston, Krause, and Oliver. It will also reflect on investigations from the government regulatory authority. Reflecting the study on government policy is paramount since the viability of education program depends on the effectiveness of the decisions of those responsible for its management, and thus its quality depends largely on adopting a successful strategy.

Therefore, this study will collect, organize and select data from various sources including textbooks, and the government’s profile. It will then analyze this information in order to generate ideas concerning the impact of Freemasonry on Liberal arts public school curricula from a historical point of view.

Sample

This historical study calls for selecting a sample of primary and secondary sources. These sources will involve the role of the Freemasonry in developing the education curricula from its origin to its foundation. This study will comprise of a relational sample as it consists of information that is interrelated with one another. These include the information from the Freemasonry, the churches, and the government and their role in the education curricula.

The selection of a primary source is paramount since it encompasses interconnections between historical information. This facilitates effective analysis since it creates room for interconnecting historical information that is related to Freemasonry involvement in the education curricular from the onset. The sample consists of content that bring rise to various questions that call for answers as the study advances. The primary sources will concentrate on critically evaluating the literatures on the subject in order to supply answers as to what extent the existing research is paramount with regard to the historical significance of freemasonry to public school education.

Instrument

Throughout the 18th century, the education system was faced with a major crisis due to emergence of diverse cultures and religions that aimed at influencing their point of views in the education curricula (Whalen, 1998). These philosophical views from diverse cultures put the education curricula into question. The questions that were put forth involved education’s customs, development of morals, and development of rational thinking through critical thinking. The proposed educational curricula between these diverse settings differed from each other as each cultural or religious group applied different philosophy, approach, and style (Mackey & Clegg, 1994)

Whalen (1998) affirms that the Freemasons were pessimist on the issue of promoting Christian values in the public schools education curricula. As a result, the Masons took an approach of protecting as well as promoting their values in the public schools curricula. This strategy yielded to several reactions from the churches and the community as many was unsure whether it would yield to positive results. However, as days passed by, the Masons managed to establish good public relations that gave them not only an opportunity for advancing knowledge in elementary schools but also their customs since they received support from the students.

The mid 19th century is characterized by competition between the Freemasonry and the Catholic Church, which was already involved in the education curricular (Whalen, 1998). The Catholic Church’s core value in their involvement was to dispense customs which could enable students to change their moral and values through Christianity. This contrasts with the philosophical view of the Freemasonry since their aim was to induce education knowledge. The Masons portray this through distinctive pictures that adequately demonstrate children who are well fed with knowledge (Mackey & Clegg, 1994 ). This facilitated the adoption of the Freemason’s Liberal arts curricula of public school education

The government of the United States played a critical role in enhancing the Freemasonry involvement in the public education. Hence, the Freemason became optimistic and declared their faith in ensuring that the children attend the public schools. This resulted from their burning desire to enhance knowledge in the community (Mackey & Haywood, 2003).

Collection of Data

The process of collecting data was divided into four steps by the researcher. The first step involved determining the scope of the research. This defines the extent to which the Freemasons advocated free public school education. This information was collected by using the primary and secondary sources. Mackey and Clegg’s book is used to show how the Freemasonry demonstrated and supported the Liberal arts curricula of public school education. This book was preferred as a primary source in this research study as it holds all the facts related to Freemasonry from a historical point of view.

The next step involved further selection of sources, which aided in determining the evidence that demonstrates and supports Freemasonry’s historical involvement within the Liberal arts curricula of public school education, the impact of Freemasonry’s philosophical writers on the development of Liberal arts curriculum in public education, and the Masonic beliefs in public schools, which originated from historical writings. This included the use of the government reviews, and various authors including Walker, Whalem, and Graebner

The third step included the organization of the ideas or information collected. The primary and the secondary sources selected were grouped according to their topics/themes. The researcher took note of the topics, which needed more research. The final step consisted of reading, taking notes and brainstorming on the historical significance of freemasonry to public school education as well as assessing the influence of their beliefs in the public schools. At this stage of the research process, the researcher sought after ways for analyzing the content from a historical perspective.

Treatment of Data

Freemasonry’s historical involvement within the Liberal arts curricula of public school education

The federal and state polices that govern and regulate the provision of public education help to demonstrate and support Freemasonry historical involvement within the Liberal arts curricula of the public school education. These policies are vital since they provide the statutory rights to different levels of education curricula. In addition, they have a framework, which plays the role of regulating financial support to the education providers (Walker, 2008).The American Freemasonry demonstrates supports of the Liberal Arts curricula of public school education by bringing the federal government to the attention of funding the public schools curricular. This happened after the World War 1.In addition; the Scottish rite participated in the passage of the educational bill commonly known as the Smith- Tower Educational Bill (Mackey & Clegg, 1994). This bill was crucial as it helped to

  • Create a harmonious living by analyzing the negative effects of segregation in educational system.
  • It served the role of eradicating poverty using the school intervention programs as well as resource building.
  • It also improved cohesion by creating awareness of the negative effects of social segregation within the school setting (Walker, 2008).

Freemasonry’s writers on the development of Liberal arts curriculum in public education

The Freemasonry’s philosophical writers have created a considerable impact on the educational curricula since the written information cannot be subjected to shortage of memory as opposed to interviews. These writers have written on diverse philosophical views, dividing the learning into three branches, which include science and Liberal Arts, ethics and morals, and metaphysical philosophy, thus leading to a motivational learning.

The motivation results from various activities that are carried out by the Freemason which include awards programs as well as offering educational opportunities that facilitate knowledge development (Walker,2008).This optimistic approach takes due consideration in nurturing of the leaders of the future. In addition to this, the Freemasons took the responsibility of supporting the public school system financially (Mackey & Clegg, 1994).The Freemason regards highly building of a strong leadership development that provides the people with a suitable avenue for coping with the future challenges. This makes Freemasonry to depend on young people while defining their future goals.

Preston is one of the old generation philosophers whose writings are based on dissemination and diffusion of knowledge. That is, all knowledge depends upon the mind. His writings have been used as a vehicle for increasing students’ knowledge as this serves a critical role in enhancing their productivity. Krause’s philosophical writings present the reader with a noticeable difference of morals as he argues that the preservation of a social order directs responsibility to man. Krause’s philosophy of Masonry and his philosophy of law necessitate one to differentiate between natural order, the social order, and the moral order with the sole aim of bringing humanity to perfection (Mackey & Clegg, 1994).

Oliver’s philosophy of Masonry deals with Masonry in its relation to the philosophy of religion. Oliver’s theory of Masonry as a system of tradition ultimately, though not immediately, was definitely up to religious task as evidenced by his final writings. That conception led to his theory of Masonry as a body of tradition. Oliver’s theory presents the reader with an illustration showing how the Masonry was to be found as a body of tradition in the earliest periods of history as recorded in Scripture. The Freemasons relate closely with the passage of Masons traditions, thus making the distinction between the groups; some being the pure Masonry while other being the spurious Masonry (Mackey & Clegg, 1994).

These Freemasonry’s writers enable the researcher to assess the impact of philosophical view in relation to the development of Liberal arts curriculum in public education as they facilitated group discussion forums, thus helping the students to learn the Liberal arts curricula program because they were able to

  • Obtain valid knowledge.
  • Learn ways of building social cohesion.
  • Learn ethics that enhance good public relations.
  • Learn the principles that promote proficient leadership skills.
  • Respect other people’s opinion/beliefs through an open-minded approach (Walker, 2008).

The Masonic beliefs in public schools

Data from the available sources shows that there was considerable amount of time taken by the Masons before their fully influenced their cultural beliefs in the public schools. This data proves that the students in the public schools involved with the Freemasonry acknowledge attending to ceremony lodges (Whalen, 1998). This depicts that the current public school curriculum contain Masonic beliefs that emanate from historical writings.

The extent of Masonic beliefs are further evidenced by emphasizing on the old education paradigm that takes into account the biblical truths above earth-centered myths, facts above experience and feelings, observations above imaginations, logic above fiction, , reality above fantasy, factual history above multicultural stories, and individual responsibility above group thinking(Walker, 2008).

The data collected shows that the Freemasonry success is based on enticing methods that puts in place a very good framework for qualification. This framework accepts people from diverse cultures. Through this framework, the Freemasonry take the responsibility of teaching their intellectual pursuit for light and knowledge that deals with the moral and spiritual doctrines of life (Graebner, 1946). The Freemasons therefore embraces people of all walks in life who portray faith in a supernatural being. Therefore, qualification for membership calls for demonstration of virtues that supersede the outward appearance of poverty or riches (Mackey & Clegg, 1994).

In addition, the public schools curriculum contains Masonic beliefs that emanate from historical writings of various philosophers. These beliefs work under the principle of neutral concepts, thus preventing distress of a group’s outcome. This is facilitated by taking an assumption of what constitutes good or evil beliefs (Walker, 2008). This concept is vital since it helps to eliminate biased ideas and concepts that result from diverse religious beliefs in the school settings. This in turn facilitates formation of a Masonic culture that is derived from different perspectives produced within the group through the interpersonal skills. Therefore, the overall process follows the sequence of understanding self, understanding the environment, and defining the direction of the education system and the Masonic practices.

References

Graebner, T. (1946). Is masonry a religion?: An analysis of Freemasonry. St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House.

Mackey, A., & Clegg, I. (1994). Symbolism of Freemasonry: Its Science, Philosophy, Legends, Myths, and Symbolism. Winnipeg, MB: Kessinger Publishing.

Mackey, A. G., & Haywood, H. L. (2003). Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Part 2 Winnipeg, MB: Kessinger Publishing.

Walker, C. (2008). A noble fight: African American freemasonry and the struggle for democracy in America. University of Illinois Press.

Whalen, W. (1998). Christianity and American Freemasonry. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press.