Christian Curriculum

Giving Back to the Country: The William S. Knight Center | Education News


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Parents looking to inspire a cautious love of the countryside among their college teens should explore the William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education, which will open later this year at the College of the Ozarks.

Principal Andrew T. Bolger said the Knight Center marries the college‘s “holistic education model of instilling civic knowledge with patriotic actions supported by affections for the country.” He notes that this mission represents a continuation of the college’s decades-long push to emphasize patriotic education, which became a priority after some Vietnam War veterans were treated poorly after returning home. .

The eponymous center is named after William Knight, an avid aviation enthusiast who owned Knight Manufacturing, a Wisconsin-based farm machinery manufacturer founded by his father in 1945. William S. Knight Foundation President Kirk Blumm a said the foundation, which initiated the creation of the new center, is working to protect “individual freedoms guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” which Knight said were increasingly ignored by citizens. younger generations of Americans. Once students and staff complete its construction, the centre’s 6,700 square feet of space will include classrooms, an exercise room and a media center.

According to Bolger, the Knight Center will promote “an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibility, love of the country and the will to defend it” through courses, patriotic dialogue, honor of veterans , trips to the nation’s capital and abroad, and more. Its mission is based on the four pillars of the college’s patriotic education: the importance of the American free enterprise system, the maintenance of religious and individual freedom, the understanding of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families, and the promotion of public and military service.

The center will use an education model used by the college and School of the Ozarks, a classical Christian school from kindergarten to grade 12. Bolger says that through its multifaceted efforts, the center will shape the hearts and minds of students by providing a “comprehensive framework for thinking about civic and patriotic education through different lenses.”

Students will “critically engage and develop an appropriate loyalty to the country” not only in the classroom, but also by working around campus, such as at the Keeter Center – a hotel, dining hall, and conference center. Rather than paying tuition fees, students instead take on various jobs on campus, where they can develop the virtues and character habits needed to be good citizens.

The college’s Patriotic Education program includes a compulsory first-year course that covers military science and U.S. government, which focuses on topics such as constitutional design, American exceptionalism, the American flag code, and capitalism. against socialism. All students must pass the US citizenship test to pass the course. To top off their undergraduate studies, all seniors take Patriotic Education 401 (k), which explores the principles of the American republic, citizenship, and capitalism. The course concludes with a trip to Washington, DC, where students visit historic places such as the White House, the United States Capitol, and Arlington National Cemetery.

In conjunction with the college, the Knight Center will also participate in the Patriotic Education Travel Program, where students will join veterans and travel to battlefields in countries such as South Korea, France and the Vietnam. The college finds that “these educational pathways provide life-changing experiences” for students, “who not only learn volumes of history from its participants first-hand, but learn to love and appreciate them,” as they will earn “renewed respect for the veterans” who have sacrificed so much for their country. So far, Bolger says 150 veterans and between 300 and 400 students have participated in the program.

Taking place September 16-17, the College’s National Symposium on Patriotic Education will feature leading speakers on the importance of civic education and highlighting patriotic themes. Bolger says the center will also launch a “resource bank” that will include digital and physical curriculum modules. The goal, he says, is to “take proven role models and make them useful to ordinary Americans” with the goal of “cultivating and reviving historic American values ​​for children and their grandchildren.”

By cultivating the patriotic attachment of young people to America, the William S. Knight Center will create citizens who can give back to a country that has given them so much.

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