I am going to, once again, attempt to join an online book club. To join a book club reading Norms and Nobility.
This time, though I'm reading with a group on the AO Forum led by Karen Glass. The schedule is rather slow: one section - maybe two - per week - over the course of the next year. A long sustained schedule might break me, but I really really want to read it this time. The last time I tried, with Cindy Rollins, I got through just Chapter 1, but I say that book "de-deweyfied" my education major philosophy. Likely more would be better.
My hope is that most of my Wednesdays with Words for the next year will be from Norms, so I hope you will be patient with me.
This week, we read the Preface to the 1990 Edition.
This isn't so much a preface as an explanation of the reason for the book, a peek into why and what he has written, and some self-critique after more experience.
The first time I read this, I underlined the statement that I'm highlighting today, but I didn't think on it too seriously:
So, I do believe - and I think Hicks believes - that the course of study is incredibly important and the way it's put together matters. Having a course of study that leads its students to act rightly - "... the end of education is not thinking; it is acting." Hicks says on page vi - is of utmost importance, and a curriculum that ignores the norms of living, that ignores acting rightly, is not a curriculum that I can in good consscience place in front of my children.
But it matters, too, that I, the teacher, am a student.
A quote I love from Carolyn Weber's Surprised by Oxford is:
"As I aimed to become a teacher, God made me a student. My spirit as a questioner does not affront Him; rather, it reflects Him, and honors Him, and pulls me toward Him."
I use that quote with my signature on education forums, but do I always believe it or practice it?
This is my goal for this reading of Norms. To Attend! to the call to be a student; to observe in Wonder, to do the Work of learning and questioning and seeking, to grow in Wisdom, to Worship God, and *Revel* in His creation, leading, instruction. Huh. My Rule of Six. Funny.
One of the goals I put together for our 2017 Academic Year is to preread seriously and prepare for the coming week with the work I'm expecting of M-girl - Commonplace, Book of Centuries, Mapwork, all of it. But as the instructor, I need to do more - scaffold lessons, ask questions, seek more deeply. My friend Celeste at Joyous Lessons has been inspiring me on Instagram this fall, and I've talked with Jason about changing these habits of mine.
I need to change the teacher.
Will it happen all at once? Unlikely. The habit of years is hard to break. Does it need to change? Yes. And so I am going to make a concerted effort.
This quote from Hicks only reaffirms the direction I was already thinking. Modeling a love for learning, the processes of learning, the joy of learning for my children is not the goal. It's a side benefit.
Actually loving learning, the process of learning, the joy of learning for myself is the goal.