Wednesday, January 28, 2015

virtue, the goal of education

"The idea of approaching education-- even that part of education that we consider 'school' -- as a process of developing character and virtue rather than developing the intellect requires a paradigm shift for most of today's educators. We might understand character-training as a task that belongs to parents, or churches, but we tend to separate that kind of teaching from the teaching of school subjects such as math or grammar. The classical educators did not make such a distinction. All areas of education were brought into service for this single goal--to teach children to think and act rightly." p. 19

"We should work to reclaim for ourselves a share in the classical tradition, not because we want to replicate the past, but because our present is in great need of virtuous men and women who understand the relationships that exist in our world and the value of the human soul." p. 116

"The fundamental purpose of ancient education was to create wise and virtuous men. As Christians, we need look no further than Christ himself for our image, and the Bible charges us to model ourselves and our behavior after him, and seek to be more Christ-like." p.125

"The Bible also teaches that wisdom should be shown through action. 'Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.' (James 3:13) It is actually a Biblical principle that  'right thinking' should result also in 'right acting'." p. 127

All quotes taken from  Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition by Karen Glass.

If you were to peer in at what my pencil scribblings have added to the margins while reading this book, you would find various renderings of this idea: By what standard is virtue judged? In different words, how do you decide what is virtuous behavior?
They are rhetorical questions to myself, but I'm making the point in pencil as I read that while we can agree with our neighbors, friends or family that we want our children to grow into upright men and women, we may not agree on what it means to be upright. If I look at people I know in real life, their idea of what is virtuous behavior for their children is very different than mine, especially as their children become young adults.
As followers of Christ, it is His words which inform us as to what the standard is. It is the living, active word of God which tell us who God is and what righteousness and virtue are.
No other standard will do.  Therefore, "the accuracy and amount of knowledge of God matters", to quote from our pastor's recent Sunday sermon.
There is so much more that can be mentioned here, but understanding the reason why we educate our children (and ourselves) is paramount and it is something I had would have liked to have been taught much earlier in life, like say while I was in teacher's college, just to name one instance. But I'm here now and the view is incredible.

1 comment:

  1. This is great! I'm really enjoying Consider This and am looking forward to a lot of the quotes you highlighted here. I like your questions about virtuous and upright and by whose definition. Thanks for linking in!


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