Sunday, November 25, 2012

Education and Augustine Installment 2

For the second installment on education, I want to share something from Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown. A few quotes in the first chapter hit a chord within me, and I want to share the words with you.

"A classical education was one of the only passports to success for such men; and he [Augustine] narrowly avoided losing even this."  Brown, pg 21 (brackets placed by me)

Having enjoyed learning about the classics growing up and again in college, I am a firm believer that knowing the them is one of the best educational foundations.  I realize, not everyone is inclined to learn in the same manner.  However, there is a reason when I read C. S. Lewis, I find allusions and quotes from Plato, Virgil, and many others.  Certain material was considered to transcend a certain time frame.  It could be learned from and taught to new persons in new generations and still be relevant.

Education is more than a number of subjects, disjointed and assessed separately.  Education is gaining and retaining knowledge in one's mind and pulling relevant material, regardless of the subject, to further question and solve problems.  To illustrate, Augustine became a professor of rhetoric (the art of speaking, informing, arguing).  In order to master this art, he would have thoroughly studied each subject he pursued and combined it with his study of logic and language, thus allowing him to become a master of rhetoric.

The timeless question from students, "When will I ever use math again," is a perfect example.  To master one thing requires knowledge in many things.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...