Tuesday, April 21, 2009
"He remembers what he has learned, but forgets altogether how he learned it." Sir Richard Livingstone's "Some Tasks for Education"
The History boys: We (grown ups) watched this film the other night and really enjoyed it. We are unschoolers but we found the idea of the 'classical education' the boys at this British grammar school were having very attractive. I am referring to 'classical' in the sense of learning being guided by history, learning within small groups, highly language focused, (written and spoken) conversational, emphasizing critical thinking -illustrating dynamically that all knowledge is interrelated.
Some might think of this way of educating as being undoubtedly 'elitist' but isn't real education about learning how to learn?
This by the way, is not what was happening in the film: these boys were trying to get into Oxford and so they were preparing for the examiners questions but they did come from a background of intense, focused education.
"The beauty of the classical curriculum," writes classical schoolmaster David Hicks, "is that it dwells on one problem, one author, or one epoch long enough to allow even the youngest student a chance to exercise his mind in a scholarly way: to make connections and to trace developments, lines of reasoning, patterns of action, recurring symbolisms, plots, and motifs."