Monday, September 23, 2013

Quotes Worth Pondering: Education is a Life

Some of the ideas I am pondering was we continue through Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles…
Towards a Philosophy of Education, Volume 6 (Charlotte Mason)
For the mind is capable of dealing with only one kind of food; it lives, grows and is nourished upon ideas only; mere information is to it as a meal of sawdust to the body; there are no organs for the assimilation of the one more than of the other. What is an idea? we ask, and find ourselves plunged beyond our depth. A live thing of the mind, seems to be the conclusion of our greatest thinkers from Plato to Bacon, from Bacon to Coleridge. We all know how an idea 'strikes,' 'seizes,' 'catches hold of,' 'impresses' us and at last, if it be big enough, 'possesses' us; in a word, behaves like an entity.”  (p.105)
“In the early days of a child's life it makes little apparent difference whether we educate with a notion of filling a receptacle, inscribing a tablet, moulding plastic matter, or nourishing a life, but as a child grows we shall perceive that only those ideas which have fed his life, are taken into his being; all the rest is cast away or is, like sawdust in the system, an impediment and an injury. Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin, and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another, whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony; but we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food. Probably he will reject nine-tenths of the ideas we offer, as he makes use of only a small proportion of his bodily food, rejecting the rest. He is an eclectic; he may choose this or that; our business is to supply him with due abundance and variety and his to take what he needs. Urgency on our part annoys him. He resists forcible feeding and loathes predigested food. What suits him best is pabulum presented in the indirect literary form which Our Lord adopts in those wonderful parables whose quality is that they cannot be forgotten though, while every detail of the story is remembered, its application may pass and leave no trace. We, too, must take this risk.” (p.108-109)

For the Children’s Sake (Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)
“In fact, we can’t teach creativity.  Children respond to life, each in his own individual way.  How interesting to stand back and watch!  Provide time and place…Free time is necessary for the fruit of creativity.  It grows out of the rich life that has been the subject of this chapter.  All children respond to this abundance with ideas, plans, imagination, playing.  They solve problems, think, grow.  Children respond to life by living.  They need this time to grow.”  (p.89-90)

“An Imaginary Conversation with a Great Mind” (Tammy Glaser)
“Always one to seek scientific answers, she might liken textbooks to a diet of emerald shakes brimming with nutrients--healthy, but not satisfying for the soul. Scientists can manufacture fractionated vitamins in a lab, but this pap in a pill misses the vitality of whole food: trace ingredients, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, properly proportioned minerals, etc. Comparing infant formula to breast milk, she might note that textbooks may contain the minimum daily recommended requirements of facts, but cannot match the complex, perfectly balanced ingredients necessary for a developing brain.”

“Even if they replaced textbooks with living books, opinions with ideas, and questions with narration, teachers would still be lost without the guidance of the Holy Spirit."

“Leisure, Skills, Ideas, and Rest or I Try to Offend Everyone” (Cindy at Ordo Amoris)
“The home is the quiet refuge where ideas blossom…Ideas are like yeast, they need time to incubate.  You can’t overheat the yeast, it will die.”

“Every single minute you spend running around you are stealing moments away from your home: the place where ideas can be born…In these modern times, we can’t always stay at home but we should at least be on our guard against those lesser things that pull us away, especially during the school day.  Not running around is the first line of defense against stress.  Stress in the enemy of…just about everything worthwhile.”

“Starving our Children” (Brandy at Afterthoughts)
“We classify children as something other than human when we say that they are "too young" to have thoughts, too young to ponder, too young to read thoughtful books. Yes, children are not the same as adults, but having thoughts is a function of the soul--to assert that children cannot be thoughtful is to deny that they bear God's image, that they have souls at all.”

“In the same vein, she didn't wait for a child to be able to read to encourage their reaching out at ideas. The children were read aloud to--from broad and varied books of a high literary quality. And then those little illiterates narrated back what they had heard, claiming the ideas as their own, assimilating them into their very souls.”

No comments:

Post a Comment