This document, PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION IN THE WRITINGS OF ELLEN G. WHITE, is taken from the dissertation E. M. Cadwallader as it was written forty years ago. While the presentation format has been adapted, the content remains the same. Consistent with the counsel of Ellen White on the use of her writings, the reader of this document is encouraged to understand these principles in the context of Ellen White's times and the author's intent to provide a general overview. It should also be noted that the counsel in this section uses examples from and applies to the home, church, and society, as well as the educational settings.
We are living in a time when schools and institutions of higher education are experiencing increasing violence and disruption. It is proper educational due-diligence for all instructors and student care providers to facilitate environments conducive the best behavior and conflict resolution. Educational leaders are ideally situated to study, model, and think through ways and means to prevent violence and antagonism and to effectively resolve it when it arises.
Oakwood College has made a conscious decision to facilitate a "Redemptive Discipline" approach on campus. While the Judiciary Committee has a primary responsibility to implement this Redemptive Discipline approach, all campus student care-givers (i.e., deans, faculty, administrators, etc.) have an incumbent responsibility to be knowledgeable of, supportive of, and assertive in implementing these principles as well--whenever and wherever as possible.
This document is based on one of the longest chapters in the dissertation. This is because Mrs. White had clear and definite thoughts about discipline and therefore wrote a great deal about it. She said, "Hundreds of youth of various dispositions and of different education are associated in the school, and great care as well as much patience is required to balance in the right direction minds that have been warped by bad management. Some have never been disciplined, and others have been governed too much, and have felt, when away from the vigilant hands that held the reins of control, perhaps too tightly, that they were free to do as they pleased. CT 331**
Part of Mrs. White's emphasis was doubtlessly due to the close relationship between discipline, religious education and character education. The chapter [document] opens with a few miscellaneous principles and these are followed by sixteen sub-topics treating various aspects of discipline. The term discipline is used by Mrs. White in the sense of "training, development, and education" more often than "punishment or the keeping of order."
Mrs. White recommends strict discipline but it should be kind and fair rather than harsh. There should be rules but they should be flexible and, when practicable, formulated by the pupils themselves. The aim of the process of discipline, like education in the broader sense, is a mature, well integrated personality manifesting itself in good deportment and worthy citizenship.