Monday, April 4, 2011

Charlotte Mason: Education Is a Life

Below are some of the quotes I want to remember from A Philosophy of Education, Volume 6, by Charlotte Mason, from the section entitled, "Education Is A Life" (starting page 104).  I may add more later, but wanted to get this up as the CM Carnival tomorrow is concerning this topic:

"...life is no more self-existing than it is self-supporting; it requires sustenance, regular, ordered and fitting."

"We know that food is to the body what fuel is to the steam-engine, the sole source of energy; once we realise that the mind too works only as it is fed education will appear to us in a new light."

"...a glance at a 'gate' crowd watching a football match makes us wonder what sort of mind-food those men and boys are sustained on, whether they are not suffering from depletion, inanition, notwithstanding big and burly bodies."

"What is an idea? we ask, and find ourselves plunged beyond our depth. A live thing of the mind, seems to be the conclusion of our greatest thinkers from Plato to Bacon, from Bacon to Coleridge. We all know how an idea 'strikes,' 'seizes,' 'catches hold of,' 'impresses' us and at last, if it be big enough, 'possesses' us; in a word, behaves like an entity."

"If we enquire into any person's habits of life, mental preoccupation, devotion to a cause or pursuit, he will usually tell us that such and such an idea struck him."

"This potency of an idea is matter of common recognition. No phrase is more common and more promising than, 'I have an idea'; we rise to such an opening as trout to a well-chosen fly."

"There is but one sphere in which the word idea never occurs, in which the conception of an idea is curiously absent, and that sphere is education!  Look at any publisher's list of school books and you shall find that the books recommended are carefully dessicated, drained of the least suspicion of an idea, reduced to the driest statements of fact."

"For the mind is capable of dealing with only one kind of food; it lives, grows and is nourished upon ideas only... "

"We think to feed children on the dogmas of a church, the theorems of Euclid, mere abstracts of history, and we wonder that their education does not seem to take hold of them."

This post is part of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival, hosted this week at Barefoot Voyage.

2 comments:

  1. Great extraction from our extremely quotable Ms. Mason!
    Richele

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