The spiritual roots of self-respect

Self-respect nourishes. There's a growing recognition that when schools and schoolbooks help children gain self-respect, progress happens—especially for children from minority groups. Helping minority children progress comes close to a crusade for Mildred D. Johnson, who has been in the field of education for more than three decades. Here she explores her approach, rooted in a growing understanding of man's spiritual nature.

How did you first get interested in education? They always called me "the little teacher." I remember when I was not more than eleven or twelve and was a very good reader, a neighbor wanted to read the Bible. I taught that man to read. I found out later that he wasn't well; oftentimes a physical challenge turns you to something deeper.

How did you get interested in developing educational materials? When I went to school, our books were almost always handed down—often from another school that was getting new books. I used to wonder about that. When I became a teacher, I saw other inequities, and I felt that these inequities would affect children. I also saw more of what the needs were.

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August 31, 1992

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