Education Pg 3
Christianity has contributed the most in education to society. The church is the largest single contributor to education in the world, and in some of the poorest countries. There is no close second contributor. From preschools through colleges and universities, the Church has provided the institutions, the buildings and the teachers.
"All knowledge is sterile which does not lead to action and end in charity." - Cardinal Desire Joseph Mercier
Public Libraries in Western Society
Christians have been responsible for developing libraries in Western society from the earliest times. This has had a great impact on learning and cultural development.
Check out some of the history:
Bust of Louis Braille by Étienne Leroux at the Bibliothèque nationale de France
Braille is a worldwide system used by the blind and visually impaired people.
Louis Braille (4 January 1809 – 6 January 1852) was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as braille.
Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received scholarship to France's Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently. Inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier, Braille constructed a new method built specifically for the needs of the blind. He presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824.
In adulthood, Braille served as a professor at the Institute and had an avocation as a musician, but he largely spent the remainder of his life refining and extending his system. It went unused by most educators for many years after his death, but posterity has recognized braille as a revolutionary invention, and it has been adapted for use in languages worldwide.
As soon as he could walk, Braille spent time playing in his father's workshop. At the age of three, the child was playing with some of the tools, trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl. Squinting closely at the surface, he pressed down hard to drive the point in, and the awl glanced across the tough leather and struck him in one of his eyes. A local physician bound and patched the affected eye and even arranged for Braille to be met the next day in Paris by a surgeon, but no treatment could save the damaged organ. In agony, the young boy suffered for weeks as the wound became severely infected; an infection which then spread to his other eye, likely due to sympathetic ophthalmia.
Louis Braille survived the torment of the infection but by the age of five he was completely blind in both eyes. Due to his young age, Braille did not realize at first that he had lost his sight, and often asked why it was always dark. His parents made many efforts – quite uncommon for the era – to raise their youngest child in a normal fashion, and he prospered in their care. He learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, and he grew up seemingly at peace with his disability. Braille's bright and creative mind impressed the local teachers and priests, and he was accommodated with higher education.
Braille created his own raised-dot system by using an awl, the same kind of implement which had blinded him.
By these modest means, Braille constructed a robust communication system. "It bears the stamp of genius" wrote Dr. Richard Slating French, former director of the California School for the Blind, "like the Roman alphabet itself."
Louis Braille was an innovator. Lying on his deathbed he said, “God was pleased to hold before my eyes the dazzling splendors of eternal hope…” His system is now used on a worldwide basis.