Saturday, June 29, 2013

Quotes worth Pondering: The Sacredness of Personality

Some of the things I’m chewing on as I reflect on Charlotte Mason’s Fourth Principle of Education:
Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6) – Charlotte Mason
This may be one of my very favorite CM quotes: “Our crying need today is less for a better method of education than for an adequate conception of children – children merely as human beings, whether brilliant or dull, precocious or backward.”  (p.80)
“…it is ours to ‘become as little children,’ rather than theirs to become as grown men and women…”  (p.81)
In the intellectual field, however, there is danger; and nothing worse could have happened to our schools than the system of marks, prizes, place-taking, by which many of them are practically governed.  A boy is so taken up with the desire to forge ahead that there is no time to think of anything else.  What he learns is not interesting to him; he works to get his remove.” (p.85)
…knowledge is delectable.”  (p.89)
But mind does not live and grow upon entertainment; it requires solid meals.” (p.90)
[Let us] make the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake the object of our educational efforts.” (p.93)
For the Children’s Sake – Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
“The Christian view of the child does not allow him to be conditioned as a dog may be conditioned to respond to a bell.  We must have due respect for the sacredness of his separate personality.  Therefore, we treat him with dignity, allowing for his weakness and need of support at any given stage.”  (p.65-66)
“And the Holy Spirit is the One who works deeply into our personal lives.  We must never presume to usurp His work.  It is dangerous to think that we are entitled to do so because we are parents, family, teachers, church workers, or adults.” (p.67)
Others worry more about the grade than about actually learning anything for its own value or for their personal need.  They are always focusing on what it looks like to others, rather than one the interest of what they are reading about.” (p.68)
“Can we lead children naturally into excellence in skills, and at the same time stimulate their minds with the sheer pleasure of knowledge?  If they aren’t interested in the material we offer them, something is wrong.” (p.69)
School Education (Volume 3) – Charlotte Mason
Now to work a machine such as a typewriter or a bicycle, one must, before all things, have practice, one must have got into the way of working it involuntarily, without giving any thought to the matter: and to give a child this power over himself – first in response to the will of another, later, in response to his own, is to make a man of him.” (p.20)
“…authority is not a gift, but a grace.” (p.24)
Authority is that aspect of love which parents present to their children; parents know it is love because to them it means continual self-denial, self-repression, self-sacrifice; children recognize it as love, because to them it means quiet rest and gaiety of heart.  Perhaps the best aid to the maintenance of authority in the home is for those in authority to ask themselves daily that question which was presumptuously put to our Lord – ‘who gave Thee this authority?’” (p.24)
“The Spirit of Competition – Should it be Encouraged?” Parent’s Review
“The true aim of education should be the free and natural development of all the faculties in each child, physical, moral, and mental, together, and in harmony, to develop the best types of manhood and womanhood, leaving the material interests of the future to depend on the realization of this full development.”

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