Month: May 2013

Eleanor M. Frost and the Narration of a “Picture Talk” — Part II by Carroll Smith

It might be helpful to you to reread the last week’s blog post before reading this post.  It will bring back to mind what Eleanor Frost says more clearly as I discuss various points she makes. Frost claims at the beginning that it is “exquisite beauty and thought” that she is after in introducing the children to this painting by Raphael.  But before we talk about that overarching goal, let’s see some points about what she did during her lesson.  There are many, many points that can be made here.  I am only discussing a few. She begins to achieve her goal by using prediction:  “First I drew from them some of the ideas we gather must have been in Raphael’s mind as he painted, and how we can recognise them.  For instance–that the Mother and Child are coming from, and bringing Heaven with them, as shown by the glory of angel heads–that they come in haste, seen by the blown-back draperies and hair–why coming in haste?–for love of His people.  These and similar points …

Eleanor M. Frost and the Narration of a “Picture Talk” — Part I by Carroll Smith

This week for the blog post I would like for everyone to read a short portion of an article from the 1915 Parents’ Review, “Impressions of Conference work with Class II” by Eleanor M. Frost.  It is located from page 567 to 594.  I have typed it here for ease of reading.  Quite some time ago Dixie Moore and Victoria Waters had this article in their pioneering Skylark magazine where I first saw it and from which I now get it for our use here.  Since that time I have read it from a direct copy of the Parents’ Review.  Now, with the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection at Redeemer University College, there will be access online to these articles straight from the Parents’ Review.   Ambleside Online has also done a wonderful job of making the Parents’ Review available. During Mason’s life there were conferences scheduled during the summers and attended by teachers and parents.  If my understanding is correct, children attended and were frequently in lessons such as the one described in this portion …

Elsie Kitching and Repeated Narrations by Dr. Carroll Smith

 The question of repeated narrations and repeated readings has come up numerous times over the years since I have been studying Mason.  I want to address this topic in this blog post and I begin with Elsie Kitching’s comment in a 1928 Parents’ Review.  When researching the work of an educational philosopher and giant such as Mason, many researchers (and I am one of those) are very careful when quoting or supporting a concept the theorist promoted, in this case narration, by using individuals who wrote after the philosopher’s life time.  My choice has always been to use only Mason herself and articles that she allowed to be published during her life time.  In this case since Elsie Kitching was Mason’s lifetime friend and companion, I belief it is safe to use Kitching’s work for this discussion of repeated readings and narrations.  Here is what Kitching (1928) said,  I heard a lesson given some months ago by a junior student of the College, who was just beginning her work in the Practising School here, and she …

Narration According to G. F. Husband by Carroll Smith

Over the next several weeks I want to write blogs on narration.  Narration is supposedly that simple little pedagogical tool that Mason used and that she called the act of knowing. Some educators wonder what all the fuss is about.  Narration simply cannot do what she claimed. I hope to convince otherwise through these blogs. I intend to start this series by looking into the past a bit in hopes that this will give us some grounding into why narration is important.  There are many reasons and this blog will show a few of those reasons.  To look back I begin with an article written by G. F. Husband in the Parents Review in 1924 soon after the death of Mason (1923). In this article Husband (1924) begins his discussion of narration by bringing the reader’s attention to a comment made by one of “His Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools” who said, “The art of questioning is the whole art of teaching and if you persist with Narration methods your teachers will lose the ability to question.  You must …