Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Education Through Storytelling

In political philosophy class today, my professor gave what I thought was a brilliant account of how an education system or curriculum should be designed, or at least how kids should be taught by parents or teachers.

Drawing on the argument by Plato (and, subsequently, St Aquinas' lex est magister) that education shouldn't be considered merely as an imparting of information but a thorough 'shaping of the soul', children should spend a substantial amount of time being told stories from all over the world. Children should be read stories that make them feel sad or joyous, and attached to words and truth. Children should be taught particulars and specifics about the morals and fables in folklore and fairy tales first, rather than generalizations through rational science and mathematics. Theological virtues, such as hope and justice, should be inculcated and should be the responsibility of a good and virtuous education.

One can see how this appeals more to the heart than the intellect, and it makes so much frickin' sense. Only with heart can a child's sensibilities about the world and reality be formed, and only with heart can the rational information he/she is eventually going to be exposed to fit in the right manner.

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