A Philosophy of Education ~ Chapter 2
Children are Born Persons
“His mind is the instrument of his education and his education does not produce his mind.” Pg 36
From birth and through the ages counted in months, a child devotes himself to learning by touching, pulling, tearing, throwing, and tasting. He will explore until he knows and then he will go on to something new. He reasons with his unending questions of “Why?” He has imagination and the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.
At school-age, “A child comes into their hands with a mind of amazing potentialities.” Play, environment and motion are all good in education, but ideas are what connect the minds.
“Education, like faith, is the evidence of things not seen.” Pg 39
An idea is born of the spirit and desires to be explored and confirmed. The mind, like the body, begins with the business to grow. The body grows on food and the mind grows on ideas, appearing in stages of life. An idea is presented; we take it in, accept it, and for days after the idea will present itself in various ways, through what we read, people we talk to, and things we will see. This is how adults process ideas and children are no less. Therefore, as educators, it is our business to present the great ideas of life, clothed with facts but released to the child to do with as he chooses, for he knows what to do.
“History must afford it’s pageants, science it’s wonders, literature it’s intimacies, philosophy it’s speculations, religion it’s assurances to every man, and his education must have prepared him for wanderings in these realms of gold.” Pg 43
Every one of these subjects has a purpose, a value to the student. A good education is broad to touch on many subjects and also equips a child for their exploration of them.
But what of motivation? Can we trust children to seek knowledge on their own accord? Children hunger for knowledge, not information. The constant barrage of questioning only interrupts a child’s train of thought as they process ideas. It is not the requirement of a teacher to manipulate and control stimulation and attention from the student. If we understand the capacity and requirements of a child’s mind, these things come quite naturally. They are due the dignity we give ourselves and those around us; children are born persons.