Andrew Kern Aug 21, 2007

John Milton Gregory wrote a book for Sunday school teachers toward the end of the 19th century that was disinterred by the folks up at Logos School. While his approach is overly scientific for my tastes and tends to be modernist in its assumptions about thinking, Gregory's book is enormously useful when we want to analyze our instruction or that of another. In it, Gregory summarizes the seven laws of teaching as follows:

  1. A teacher must be one who KNOWS the lesson or truth to be taught.

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Andrew Kern Aug 20, 2007
The central principle of classroom or home discipline must be seen to be the relationship between teacher/parent and child and the central principle of this relationship must be seen to be respect. We live for honor and we will do nearly anything for a smile. So smile.  Charlotte Mason again: "A child cannot bear estrangement, disapproval; he must needs live in the light of a countenance smiling upon him." Formation of Character, p. 14.
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Andrew Kern Aug 20, 2007
The global village has brought Mexicans, Chinese, Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans together in a way we haven't seen since the fall of the Roman Empire. Some folks think rather glibly about the promises and perils of this development. A few classes here and there, a multi-cultural emphasis in the classroom and everything will be fine.
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Andrew Kern Aug 18, 2007
All vital knowledge begins with living personal experience of an idea, either direct when the idea is embodied in things, or vicarious when the idea is embodied in texts or artifacts.
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Andrew Kern Aug 17, 2007
Charlotte Mason, one of the greatest educators ever, had this to say about learning about science through time spent out of doors when very young:
it is not necessary that the child should be told anything about disintegration or dicotyledon, only that he should observe the wood and pith in the hazel twig, the pleasant roundness of the pebble; and by and by he will learn the bearing of the facts with which he is already familiar -- a very different thing from learning the why of facts which have never come under his notice.
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Andrew Kern Aug 17, 2007
Everybody needs to know about this T-shirt - congratulations to Wes Callihan and Schola for ten brilliant years!
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Andrew Kern Aug 17, 2007
This from a fascinating blog on classical education as it is defined since Dorothy Sayers and how Charlotte Mason understood it. So who's really classical?
It is fascinating to me how we bandy about words like 'classical,' 'education,' liberal arts,' and more, tossing them lightly into the air, taking them for granted, when if we stop to open them up, they are like treasure boxes or Faberge Eggs, full of tiny gems, rich meaning, and pictures, ideas, and a history we never realized.
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Andrew Kern Aug 16, 2007
I'm working on a pre-school curriculum with one of my clients, and perhaps the biggest challenge for me is explaining the concept of poetic knowledge in layman's terms. The trouble is that it's like explaining water to a fish.
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Andrew Kern Aug 15, 2007
We do well, it seems to me, to distinguish Greek education from Roman. The Roman's were masters at making things last (like, for example, their empire). They weren't necessarily very good at making things good. The Greeks were not so good at making things last, though this problem can be exagerrated since the pragmatic Roman republic put an end to their independence after about 500 years, depending on how you look at it.
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Andrew Kern Aug 13, 2007
There seems to be some debate about the etymology of our word humor. Some argue that it comes from the Latin umor, for moisture. Some take it even farther back to the Indo-European root "ghom", for humus. Both are intriguing. The wisdom of etymology provides endless food for contemplation. Surely, there can be no accident in the common stems of humor, humility, humus, and human. We are of the dust, and when we forget that we forget who we are, we lose our sense of humor, we lose our fitting humility.
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