Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thoughts from Charlotte Mason's vol. 6 pp.1-8

Happy Sunday to you all,
I would like to share my thoughts on what I have read this week. I am in no way an expert on Charlottes writings I am just sharing what I took from the readings. Feel free to comment as you wish and discuss any thing that sparks your interest through the week. I will be reading Section 3 (p. 8-21) of the introduction this week and posting my thoughts next Sunday.

The introduction begins by Charlotte admiring the valour and devotion of the men in WWI and draws the conclusion that this stems from being educated properly. She points out the wrong thinking of the thousands of men who wouldn't support the war effort and thus remained home. She states that the mark of the educated is that they are "enabled to generous impulse", patriotism, and seeing beyond their own interests and questions what the educational system is providing when people don't have these qualities. The error of the system, she says, is the wrong conception formed of what the mind is and how it functions. There was a popular "theory" in her day dealing with the development of "faculties." This belief was that a thought is no more than a function of the brain. The educational system of her day was watering down curricula, teachers lecturing etc. with the ascertain that "it does not matter what a child learns but only how he learns it". I love this next thought so I will quote it in Charlotte's words-"If we teach much and children learn little we comfort ourselves with the idea that we are "developing this or that faculty". In the long run she says that the nation that understands that knowledge, which differs from training, is the daily food of the mind, will have a bright future. I have begun to understand her thinking about educating for vocation. That just training our children for solely earning a living doesn't improve their character or qualify them to serve as a productive member of society. We need to realize that just as the body needs food, so does the mind and that we want to give our children an education that nourishes his mind as well as training him physically and vocationally. Charlotte believed that all children could learn this way and succeed.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

"...we want to give our children an education that nourishes his mind as well as training him physically and vocationally"

I love the idea of "mind food"...that children (and adults!) are more than a physical being...that we need ideas and beauty in our lives to make us rich.