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Oct. 2011 - Kelli's Notes - Vol. 6, Ch. 2-3

Oct. 2011 - Kelli's Notes - Vol. 6, Ch. 2-3

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Published by: Kelli C, Grace for the Day on Aug 06, 2012
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From C. Mason’s Towards a Philosophy of Education,Volume 6: A Review
Peoria Area CM Study Group monthly meeting discussions
Book I: Chapter 2: Children Are Born PersonsOctober 2011Book I: Chapter 3: The Good and Evil Nature of a Child
Book 1: Chapter 2, Children Are Born Persons
 From the previous meeting -
notes:Children are born persons –We must always return to this point in ourevaluation. Most folks, on the surface, would adamantly agree with thisstatement, yet our actions - our methods, must always reflect this idea.Further discussion of what this really means to come in Ch. 2, but to establish amore clear understanding to start, we want to remember Charlotte Mason’steaching regarding children being persons. They are created in the image of God by the creator himself with a mind that needs “mind food” – thenourishment of ideas directly dealt with mind to mind. This is to say thatchildren are not sacks to be filled or matter to be molded into what we wouldmake them or have them be – not an object to be manipulated (When ChildrenLove to Learn, pg. 57). The teacher is not the imparter of all knowledge (whew
) nor the interpreter of ideas for a child. Our job is to prepare the banquettable with a feast of nourishing food to present to the child - he takes as hewills and his mind will choose the ideas – NOT that he gets to choose only fromthe dessert buffet if he desires
).I.The Mind of a Child“The consequence of truth is great, therefore the judgment of it must not benegligent.” Whichcote
From C. Mason’s Towards a Philosophy of Education,Volume 6: A Review
Peoria Area CM Study Group monthly meeting discussions
 This entire section points to the overwhelming proofs the excellence of thechild’s mind through thought, capabilities, accomplishments & natural actions.Underline the entire section “If we have not proved that a child is born aperson with a mind as complete and as beautiful as his beautiful little body, wecan at least show that he always has all the mind he requires for his occasions;that is, that his mind is the instrument of his education and that his educationdoes not produce his mind.”II.The Mind of a School-ChildIn this section, we take up the child who is ready for lessons. The idea that thebrain, as an organ, as the other parts of the body, requires proper care forhealth (food, rest, fresh air, wholesome exercise) but relies upon the mind forits proper activities. Much is also made of psychology – such that these thingsdistract and the mind is ignored. We need an educational theory with “duerecognition” of the mind. There are many desirable things, play, motion,environment – these are but “by-paths” that do not lead to the mind. Themind is spirit and must have ideas! Ideas must be “clothed upon with facts asthey occur, and [we] must leave the child to deal with these as he chooses.III.Motives for LearningWith this view of the child, as teachers, we should be humbled… what have weto offer. The old system and views of education have nothing to offer but dry,diluted ways but instead, utilize the methods that are proving out under theunderstanding of the high capabilities of the child.
Book 1: Chapter 3, The Good and Evil Nature of a Child
 From the previous meeting -
notes:Good & bad nature…Be careful not to misinterpret the terms Miss Mason usesor the implications that might follow. C.S. Lewis, in chapter 4 of MereChristianity, delivers what might be a very close explanation of the same ideaMiss Mason is expressing here that might have some more familiar terms. Also,“And here we begin to see the reality of the child as both image-bearer andfallen creation – both exist at the same time in the life of the child frombeginning to end – Gen. 8:21; Prov. 4:23; Rom. 1:18-32 (When Children Love toLearn, pg. 59).
From C. Mason’s Towards a Philosophy of Education,Volume 6: A Review
Peoria Area CM Study Group monthly meeting discussions
I.Well-Being of Body The idea in this first paragraph that we aren’t taught to be bad or good (on theinside) but the child, just like the adult, is born a person – of the flesh(scriptural reference to our sinfulness), yet also created in the image of Godwith a conscience. And the “hope set before us” as educationalists is only sowhen education is in its proper relation as the “handmaid of Religion”. Themagnanimous & responsible change in religious thought is not necessarilyreferring to works based social agenda, but more of the idea of faith withoutworks is dead. Miss Mason is suggesting that as education is necessarilyreligious the application of an educational renaissance would be amagnanimous education as well – applied to all areas. As educators, we canbe helpful in the failings by strengthening the opposite tendency &encouraging to “take-off” or “put away” the bad & “put on” or clothe yourself with the good. She doesn’t suggest that the virtues that are cultivated replacefaith that is what accredits righteousness through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World (see Miss Mason’s devotional book by that name). Does that makemore sense with different terms used? Remember Miss Mason’s terms may bea bit unfamiliar and need to be put into the proper context & definitions. Therest of this section continues with the discussion on developing adiscriminating habit for noble things & thought.II.Well-Being of MindWhen we neglect intellect, how can we develop that discriminating habit? “Themind is a chartered libertine” and we must not allow it to be untrained andthink as we please. Neglect of the intellect has stultifying consequences. Wemust use the natural desire for knowledge and capitalize on the sense of wonder to vivify the lessons. “We may not point to the moral; that is the workproper for children themselves and they do it without fail.” Here she refers toPlutarch and lessons of citizenship. Narrations are a part of the well being of the mind. We must not underestimate them and leave them to deal directlywith ideas. The more the teacher works (instead of the student) the less ablethe students become and the more other incentives are used like grades andscholarship exams. Also the more “talky-talky” (think lecture style or endlessexplanations) the teacher, the more lifeless the student. Underline talky-talky.Also, endless review is as equally boring and mind numbing
, “continualprogress is the law of intellectual life”. Another means we teachers employthat hinder growth of the mind is ‘the questionnaire’ (comprehension questionsin modern terms). There is quite a comparison with the digestion of food whichwe don’t ask children to produce for inspection at regular intervals… quitedisruptive to the digestive system.

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