Identify the values that Lincoln expects the teacher to teach his son in the letter to his son's headmaster.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Lincoln's primary concern is that the teacher is able to instruct his child on the idea that academic scholarship must accompany the primary instruction of character.  For Lincoln, education becomes "an adventure that might take him across continents."  However, this primary residence of such a voyage is within his son's character and the values of "faith, love, and courage" that accompany all notions of education.  Lincoln asks the teacher to "take him by his hand and teach him" the basic elements of character molding. This encompasses lessons that reaffirm the basic values of "faith, love, and courage" These values manifest themselves in Lincoln's requests that the teacher teach the child that "for every scoundrel, there is a hero" and that "10 cents earns is of far more value than a dollar found."  The values that Lincoln would want his child to gain are residing in the realm of character formation.  These values are ones that transcend content learning and help to form the basis of one's identity.  Lincoln understands this clearly as he ends his letter with the idea that his son is a "nice little boy."  In this, the values that Lincoln wishes the teacher to teach reflects the reality that education is as much character based as it is about the content acquired.