Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Augustine on Learning and Teaching

I love connections like this -- just thought I'd share.

I am reading Religious Potential of the Child by Sophia Cavaletti, and I found a quote by Saint Augustine that I've been hunting for for years -- couldn't remember where I had originally found it and so I kept googling but of course, coming up with all sorts of things that didn't help me.

". . . Who is so foolishly curious that he would send his son to school in order to learn what the teacher thinks? But all those disciplines that teachers claim to teach, even those of virtue and wisdom, they explain with words. Then those who are called students consider within themselves whether what was said is true, each consulting that inner truth according tho his own ability. Thus they learn." (De Magistro)


"One who hears (a teacher) likewise sees those things with an inner and individual eye. He knows the matter of which I speak because of his own contemplation, and not by means of the words of the teacher. Hence I do not teach even such a person, although I speak what is true and he hears it. For he is taught not by words, but by the realities themselves made manifest to him directly by God revealing them to his inner self." (De Magistro, 40)

(Found the quotes, once I knew the name of the work, on Augnet)

Studeo's post Cardinal Newman on Learning Grammar seems to tie in a bit here too.

A lot of what Cavaletti is saying in the book so far reminds me of what Charlotte Mason teaches: Despise not, hinder not, offend not the little ones.

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