The Creed is a list of concepts about a scholar's education that would seem obvious to the adult, but are often not clear enough to a scholar. Time spent introducing and reviewing The Creed with one's scholars is never wasted; it gives them a philosophical basis for seeing their academic efforts as important.
The text reads, in part:
* My education is my key to the future of my choice.
* I share a common human experience with all those around me, and so I can relate to anyone in some way, regardless of my differences to them in age, sex, home, race, creed, status or ability.
* I can learn from the experiences (achievements & mistakes) of those who have lived before me, whether or not I know them personally or think they have anything to say to me.
* Humankind has collected and developed knowledge of the world over many centuries, and continues to do so. Society has designated my instructors as those people who will help me to understand what we’ve collected so far, and I owe them my attention, deference, and obedience.
* This thing I call education is training for my mind to think, to work, and to make sense of my life and world. Like physical training, it is sometimes painful and hard to do. I need to trust my instructor, submit to this educational training, ask for help, and keep doing my actual best, no matter what.
* With preparation, practice and perseverance I can learn any skill, any ability, anything that I choose to pursue (with my possession or lack of natural talent being the determining factor in my degree of success).
* I can counter any disadvantages/challenges/obstacles I face externally (distraction, oppression, want, neglect, etc.) with the strength of character I have (or can foster) internally (bravery, persistence, diligence, focus, hope, etc.) . If I fail, it is my fault, and I’ve failed myself; I must go again.
* Only by consistently doing my honest, actual best work will I realize my progress and improve.
* My attitude, good or bad, toward my training and education can be contagious, and so my colleagues and I have a responsibility to each other to keep a positive, caring attitude, thereby helping us all to succeed.
The Creed can be especially useful in conferences with scholars who have lost their focus or enthusiasm over the course of the year, to remind them that they are not just killing time until summer. Instead, you may encourage them to remember they are building themselves up for the future: theirs, their society's, and their country's.
by Ken Wolfe
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