Friday, April 22, 2011

Notes from Midwest Homeschool Conference III

Dr. Perrin's second lecture in this series was entitled, "How to be a Teacher, How to be a Student."  It could also have been titled, "Educating the Soul (Caring for and perfecting a soul)."
Modern education tends toward a method or system where we groom children to fit into a slot and be prepared to complete a task or type of task.  A liberal education, on the other had gives children freedom.

This lecture was a meditation on Luke 6, particularly verses 37-45 applied to education. Between the teacher and the student there is much here to consider.  Jesus tells us to not judge.  He tells us that a blind guide will lead another blind man into a hole, that we must take the plank from our eye before removing the speck from our brother's.  Note, however, that he doesn't tell us that we ought not remove the speck  There is a reciprocity between the teacher and the student.

Teachers are to provide: sight, guidance, leadership.  Don't be a blind guide.

To be a teacher, be a student.  To be a student, be a teacher.

We teach our students in order that they can serve others in the community ... so they can bless others.  In this manner, we can serve Christ and His kingdom.  Some supporting scriptures:  Psalm 112 and the Parable of the Talents - What do you have that you haven't received?  

Education involves relationships: truth is sought, beauty is admired, holiness is pursued.

As homeschooling parents we are adults and teachers modelling seeking truth and holiness. 

Jesus says we need guides who can see.  "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher." (aside: if that isn't terrifying, I don't know what is.)  As teachers, we need to find ways to give students eyes to see and ears to hear.  Our vision must not only be for our children, but our children's children's children ...

God's grace is sufficient! When you stumble, recover with humility and remember your weakness.

Ephesians 6:4 calls us, as parents, to enculturate children into Christianity.  Teaching our students to be eager and zealous for truth, beauty, and holiness; they should delight in knowledge and truth.   Our students ought to be developing virtue, which you must embody in your own soul.

You, the teacher, should be asking "Am I a blind guide?" If yes, REPENT.  And pray.  A scholar's prayer might be to ask God to show us beauty, truth, holiness in our studies.    

Education is to draw out in order to "see."  The meaning of the phrase "fully trained" can mean, "mended, made whole"  like fishing nets ... that the student can become a fisher of men.  We are menders and mentors when we teach.  But we are prone to blindness ... humility is the good "humus" ... the good earth

Fully training students takes time and patience.  Barzun talks about not pace, but intensity.  Fully training students also requires a relationship: coaching ,mentor, instructor, puller, sparring partner, tangible connections to the real.


[phew] Looks like I'm going to go to a third post here, too! Thanks to Dr. Perrin for his meaty lectures!

1 comment:

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