Month: June 2010

Digitizing the Charlotte Mason Collection 2009-2010 by Dr. Deani Van Pelt

In Ambleside, Cumbria, a fifteen minute walk beyond the shores of Windermere and the ruins of the Roman fort Galava, across the road from Springfield, the first location of Charlotte Mason’s House of Education (1892-1894), and just down the hill from Scale How, the second and final location of the House of Education, later The Charlotte Mason College, rests the eleven year old building which is home to the Armitt Library and Museum. In the basement of the Armitt building, beside the precious Beatrix Potter Collection of original fungi water colours, in a secure store room, resides the Charlotte Mason Collection. With its low-ceiling, plain concrete floor, exposed duct work, ordinary metal shelving, nondescript cardboard boxes and heavy metal door, the secure store archive offers meager welcome and little indication of the treasure it contains. Yet over the years several inquirers have become intimately acquainted with this physical collection and powerfully animated by the potential it holds for more deeply probing and richly unfolding Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy.  Dr. John Thorley and Margaret Coombs of …

The Godward Movement of the Large Room by Nancy Kelly

One of the things that is so refreshing about Charlotte Mason’s writings is her biblical literacy.  If she could write a six-volume poetic work of the Gospels, The Savior of the World, she must have spent much of her life meditating on them.  She uses so many allusions and phrases from the Scriptures in her six-volume Original Homeschooling Series that oftentimes I miss them, maybe picking them up during my second or third reading.  While some writers of curricula explicitly state the scriptures they use as bases for their materials and methods, in Charlotte Mason’s case the truths of Scripture are woven inextricably throughout her writings. A favorite quote of many is found in the section titled “Our Aim in Education is to Give a Full Life”: The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full …

The Postmodern [2] Question–A Turn for the Better? by Dr. Jack Beckman

I teach a graduate class on instructional supervision where I have the privilege of watching educational administrators squirm as they attempt to observe and make sense of what teachers do in the classroom.  My amusement grows as I have them watch a novice teacher instructing a group of inner city kids in a lesson that is, well, disastrous.  All the while they are collecting data from the observation – furiously making notes while their heads pivot up and down from the video.  Then we process the event to see what they found out.  I simply ask, ‘What did you see?’ and then ‘Talk to me about how you would interact with this teacher.’ Radical eclecticism overcomes common sense at this point.  Here are a range of comments: ‘She should be fired.’ ‘Did you see the boy in the red jacket?  He played the entire time.’ ‘I am not quite sure she understood the idea of emancipation.’ ‘The lesson just ended with no follow-up.’ ‘I wasn’t sure just what to take down. There was so much …