Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Philosophy of Education vol. 6 ch.3

Parts 1&2

Children, like adults, are born with good and evil tendencies. The hope is to build up the good and reduce the evil. This, Charlotte says, will only happen when “education is put in her proper place- as the handmaiden to religion.” Parents know their children better than anyone. They know and understand each child’s bents and passions. It is important to figure these out, as well as what “dangers” or weaknesses might present themselves, in order to steer our children onto right paths. As a teacher, you need to understand the human nature that is in every child. The tendencies which are in every child towards “greediness, restlessness, sloth, impurity” could ruin the adult that they will become if let go undisciplined.
Every child has intellect even if the outward appearance looks inattentive. We can tap this through a fascinating pageant of historical characters and scientific readings because children have an amazing imagination, which is part of that intellect. When we introduce children to literature it gives them the keys to a “glorious kingdom, a continual holiday, or an exquisitely served feast.” We need to not underestimate the abilities of children. We don’t need to explain every word or phrase we read. This actually bores them. They can understand more than we realize. Another mistake we make is going over and over material so they “get it”. By doing this we can actually paralyze the result of progress.
The minds of children need a broad selection of subject matter not just specialization in one particular field or interest. We need to give our children beautiful things to feast upon in the form of words, pictures, music and nature. The function of these beautiful things is to “open up a paradise of pleasure” for us. This beauty is for all, not just the educational elite.

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