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KarenG, May 5, 2018 in
The Liberal Arts Tradition
I haven't taken the course, and probably won't, simply because audio content doesn't hold my attention well. I read about 50% of this book on my Kindle a couple of years ago, and decided I needed to have a physical copy. I got one, but it's taken me a while to get back to this book, so I'm starting over again (with a pencil!). I'm a couple of (unnumbered) chapters into it. Just wondered if anyone else was reading this right and interested in sharing thoughts as you go along?
I'm considering blogging through the book in an informal way, but haven't started that yet. Interaction is more interesting.
From the Publisher's note (i.e., Christopher Perrin): "Wonder" is a condition for all future study.
Why is that, do you think? Is this what we've actually lost when we say that someone has lost their "love of learning?" Do children innately possess this wonder or must it be inculcated in them? If it is innate, does it need drawing out or cultivating? If it is learned, that implies it can be taught, and how would one go about that?
If wonder is a condition for all future study, what happens to education when there is no wonder?
I don't think this is something to gloss over--I think it's really important--and if educators get this right, how much else would fall into place more easily?
I could attempt to read this one...in addition to the several other books begging to be finished; all about education. Some of the education books I find a bit dry and fail to hold my attention- probably the result of too much English literature. Going back to Beauty in the Word and will finish it this time, it started out a bit dry but is picking up fast, so now it's easy to want to keep reading. Also, will finally finish Norms and Nobility.
I do think that children have an innate love of learning, but that it can indeed be lost if not cultivated or allowed to flourish. I believe this in part because of the feeling that I had lost or very nearly lost the love of learning at one long point in my life. Thankfully that was not a state that I remained in forever. Because I feel that I nearly lost the love of learning, I do believe that it is possible to teach or rehabilitate that wonder back into a person, but I do think that person needs to have at least a spark of ember still alight somewhere.
I think what happens to education where there is no wonder is pretty nearly what we have going on in mainstream American education right now. Probably a simplistic view, but as a product of a public education it felt fairly wonder stifling.
Interesting conversation questions.
I did public school through 8th grade and then Christian School (ACE PACES--yes, feel free to groan). It was all stifling, absolutely deadening. I never completely lost the love of learning, I just didn't associate following my passions and learning all about those things with school.
Beauty in the Word is on my list for this year, but not for the summer. Norms and Nobility is a favorite. Funny thing--the later chapters are much easier to read than the earlier ones! I'm deep in the throes of the quadrivium in The Liberal Arts Tradition, but lagging behind that in blogging about it.
Beauty in the Word, once I got to chapter 2, has so much underline-able thoughts that it will keep me busy thinking for a good long while. Now it is clear why some people have such high praises for it.
If you'd like to discuss The Liberal Arts Tradition, I'm game. I need to catch up to wherever you are, if possible. After seeing that it is one of the "to read" books for starting a Schole group here, decided it is a need-to-read.
I think with N&N, I will start with the later chapters as you mention. I got part way through this last year and dropped it to re-read two of CM's books...now I need to read the other 2.
Thanks, Karen G!
I'm about halfway through. Page 72. I'm paused (briefly) so I can catch up with the blogging. Feel free to read my blog posts and comment here, though, if you want to. I'm not so far along, there! http://www.karenglass.net/category/blog/
I will do that, comment either here or over there. This is so fun that you are blogging about this! I have your Consider This, and think it is quite a nice accompaniment to Beauty in the Word. What you both do is make the connection to education as tradition. Ironically, that is such a fresh way to look at the subject, rather than education as always changing with the times to the point of having no real foundation at all. I really cannot see what all the fuss is about on the part of some of the Charlotte Masoners- they should embrace the traditions part. For a long time I've seen myself as both CM and classical blended, but admittedly in the past few years began regretting the classical involvement. Your book helped me reconcile all that...and understand that the classical part that I take issue with is in actuality some sort of pseudo-classical. Thank you for all you are doing.
Thank you. I have just finished reading GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy, and found there a most wonderful insight into the tension between old and new. He's talking about conservatives vs. progressives, but his insight is extremely relevant to the discussion between the classical tradition and the need for reform and change in education. That is my very next blog series, as soon as I finish blogging through The Liberal Arts Tradition. Thanks for commenting on the blog--I don't mind discussion there at all. But I also have a desire to see this forum take root and become a vibrant community, so feel free to discuss here and maybe we can lure in one or two other voices.
Edited to add: and I MUST get to Beauty in the Word as soon as I possibly can.
Hey, I just posted a reply on your site. Will copy and paste those comments here for all to see. I feel that in not explaining last night what I was getting at that it came out like the thoughts of a lunatic. Orthodoxy a great book and your blogging it will be a good reason for me to reread.
Reposted from http://www.karenglass.net/what-do-i-owe/#comment-3452
Appreciate that you are narrating through this. I saw your post on Schole forum and thought to just comment here. One thought on piety as the “beginning of the classical paradigm”is the contrast with what we see in Genesis 3:6 where Eve sees “a tree to be desired to make one wise.”
It was past my bedtime when I posted that last night, so contrast is probably the wrong word. That was merely the thought that came to my mind when I read the part about piety as pertaining to learning. Also, I am still trying to process what I’ve read in the book so far.
In my own thoughts, Eve seeing the tree as a way to knowledge was not “pious” in the sense of what my Oxford dictionary defines it in the 1. devoutly religious. When the authors speak of piety, I take that they mean this first definition rather than 2 and 3. So, when the authors call us to piety first, it is, to me, a call to first have a reverent, spiritual, God seeking attitude in our quest. Not to be as Eve seeking a self- centred fast track to knowledge. If that makes sense.
I thought I should probably elaborate on that last night, but was too tired.
To add to my above post,
Edited to add: This part of your response on your blog is absolutely excellent. I hadn't thought of Paradise Lost and unfortunately I don't have a ready store of Milton quotes in my head, but this makes me wish I had.
"bringing in Genesis makes me think of Milton’s contention that the end of learning is to “repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him.
Well, full disclosure: I don't think I have ANY of Paradise Lost in my mind. That quote about "repairing the ruins" is from Milton's little tractate "On Education." Easy to find online and worth reading--much shorter and more accessible than Paradise Lost. I did read that, and I still have my marked copy, but I hesitate to say how many years ago.
KarenG, since your new entry has been posted, just wanted to make a quick on-the-run comment. This part about music and gymnastic is also discussed in Beauty in the Word, so for a moment I had my books mixed up! By the way, am enjoying reading your blog posts .
This part you quoted is especially ponder worthy:
History would not be so many facts to memorize, however creatively we do it, but an opportunity to use stories from the past to build up a child’s moral imagination—a possibility that, if followed, instantly unlocks the significance of ancient historians. Literature as musical education would resist the modern encroachment of critical reading in order to awaken the same imagination. Science as musical education has perhaps the greatest potential of all, especially in our context. Imagine if the foundations for all future science were a wonder and awe of God’s creation and sympathetic love of the created world.
It brings to mind the way some of us, maybe many in previous generations, had our very earliest informal education begin with nursery rhymes, simple folk songs, bedtime songs, etc. I remember my favourite books from the very early days. One was a book of children's poems and I think my favourite two were The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson, which I have in music form and framed, hanging in my library room. The other was Wynken, Blynken and Nod. It seems that all the information from those early days that stayed in my head was in the form of a song.
How quickly the singing times ended. What would it look like with history, literature and science as musical education?
I like the reminder that "music" isn't just about singing, but as you pointed out--that *joy* that is a part of the learning. I find it significant that the primary vehicle God used to teach was story---including historical "story." Thinking about the poems that you remember, I feel like repetition is part of musical education, but in saying that, I know that there is the very real danger of allowing repetition to be rote and dry and tedious, and that is not what I mean--I mean repetition that is delightful, like hearing your favorite poems, or reading the Christmas story aloud every Christmas Eve--that sort of thing. Repetition whose purpose is delight first, with memorization only a distant secondary purpose. "Awakening the imagination" is probably the key thing here.
Repetition whose purpose is delight first
Yes., this is the opposite of so many rote, dry procedures and curriculums. Repetition is natural where the purpose is delight. As children we sing the song, read the story, play the game out of the pure joy and fun of it, and before you know it, something has been learned.
Regarding 7 Liberal Arts
Karen G., am enjoying these posts and trying to catch up. Don't want to make much comment until I catch up because it is rather hard to do without reading all that Clark and Jain have to say before putting a comment. The way they define an idea that I may think of as straightforward, is far more nuanced upon further reading.
I have made it to the beginning of the 7 LiberaL Arts and can say that I am interested to see how they link it all together. Also, the "medieval view" spoken of by CM and Clark/Jain is something I like to hear expounded on. Angelina Stanford speaks a lot on the topic of Medievals and spiritual/educational traditions and it is always fascinating. Hope to come back and comment again in a couple of days.
Anita, I've been having a great time blogging through those liberal arts...I think understanding how they come together is the best part. Not that I fully, do, but that's the part that interests me.
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