Consider This: Book Plug

Charlotte Mason was inspired by this fresco of the Seven Liberal Arts

Charlotte Mason was inspired by this fresco of the Seven Liberal Arts

This book is not free, it’s 8.99 for the Kindle, but you should read it.=)

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition (kindle)

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition
(Hardcopy)

When I bought my hard copy, I was given the option of buying a Kindle edition for just .99- I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I took advantage of it.

Blurb: “The educators of ancient Greece and Rome gave the world a vision of what education should be. The medieval and Renaissance teachers valued their insights and lofty goals. Christian educators such as Augustine, Erasmus, Milton, and Comenius drew from the teaching of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian those truths which they found universal and potent. Charlotte Mason developed her own philosophy of education from the riches of the past, not accidentally but purposefully. She and the other founding members of the Parents’ National Educational Union in England were inspired by the classical educators of history and set out to achieve their vision in modern education. They succeeded—and thanks to Charlotte Mason’s clear development of methods to realize the classical ideals, we can partake of the classical tradition as well.

The classical tradition as it informs teaching is good not because it is old or “classical,” but because it works; and what works, whether old or new, is best. That’s the Mason message admirably conveyed by [Karen] Glass.
—David V. Hicks

Classical education is an education of the heart and conscience as much as it is an education of the mind. This book explores the classical emphasis on formation of character and links Charlotte Masons ideas to the thinkers of the past. This is not a “how to” book about education, but a “why to” book that will bring clarity to many of the ideas you already know about teaching and learning.

“I thought that my fire for heart education could not be further stoked; I was mistaken. Karen Glass has here laid out the thrilling joy of education, for both the teacher and the taught.”
—Michelle Miller, author of the TruthQuest History series

“From the very beginning I couldn’t put it down! What a gem!”
—Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason

“Karen says everything I would have loved to say about education in a clear, understandable, and easy to read style. It is the missing link between what we call Classical Education and the Charlotte Mason approach.”
—Cindy Rollins, contributor at The CiRCE Institute”

BOOKS TO THINK ABOUT SQUARE

Me: I am still reading this one, but I love it.  It gives me much to think about, and in a readable, accessible way.

My first recognition of the connection between classical education and Charlotte Mason came in 1998 when I was pregnant with our seventh, and reading her volume 6 for the first time. I was absolutely stunned that nobody had pointed out the similarities before (that I knew of).

(I mean, of course, real classical education, not pseudo-classical as popularized here by Dorothy Sayers and Douglas Wilson. Those stages have little to do with classical education before the 1980s, when Wilson popularized Sayers’ essay.)

I am speaking of classical education as the pursuit of virtue.

I did not reach that conclusion without help (I need all the intellectual help I can get).  It helped immensely that I  had for years been working my way (pitifully slowly) through The Great Conversation: A Reader’s Guide To Great Books Of The Western World (Hardcover).

To my mind, it was impossible to miss the connections and similarities.  While there are details on which Miss Mason and Adler might disagree, and those details aren’t insignificant, the goals of a human education that is more than utilitarian, that is wide, generous, and above all, virtuous, are the same.  Miss Mason and Adler were drinking from the same stream- a long tradition of classical education- where the purpose and function was not merely learning to read Greek and Latin, but learning to read great books of the western tradition, to converse with their authors in the examined mind as the student learns to practice and live a virtuous life.

Karen Glass has done extensive and painstaking research where necessary to demonstrate those connections.  Although, truth be told, sometimes the hints that Miss Mason was basing her approach upon links from the past are directly in Miss Mason’s own words (‘ some that is new, much that is not‘).

Additional reading:

Charlotte Mason’s own series (especially volume 6)

Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education

Almost anything from Circe

Brandy’s 31 days of CM Mythbusting

For the curious- these are the Adler books I read or was reading when I read Miss Mason’s volume VI and had my epiphany:

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book)

How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization

Aristotle for Everybody

Six Great Ideas

Paideia Proposal

This essay and other resources at The Great Ideas website is also of interest.

 

Disclosure: Karen Glass is a personal friend- she became my friend precisely because I loved her writing, her clear thinking, and her ability to explain her ideas so clearly without making me feel stupid.=)  She did not ask me to write this, and I didn’t tell her I was going to.

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