Friday, August 18, 2006

The Well Educated Mind ~ Chapter 1

The Well Educated Mind - A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer


PART ONE: Beginning: Preparing for Classical Education


Chapter One: Training your own mind: The Classical Education you never had.


"All civilization come through literature now, especially in our country. A Greek got his civilization by talking and looking, and in some measure a Parisian may still do it. But we, who live remote from history and monuments, we must read or we mudt  barbarise."

      -William Dean Howells ~ The Rise of Silas Lapham


*Reading is the most important method of self improvement.


*Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.


Three Levels of Understanding:
First: Taste - Gain basic knowledge of your subject.

Second: Swallow - Take the knowledge into your own understanding by evaluating it.

Third: Digest- Fold the subject into your own understanding.


Learning is divided into 3 stages:

1: Grammar Stage - simply absorb - not evaluate - the building blocks, the foundational knowldge of wach subject

2: Logic Stage - critical thinking exercise - analytical skills

3: Rhetoric Stage - Express your own opinions


*The pattern of Grammar. Logic, Rhetoric trains the mind in the art of learning.

            **Book list arranged in in chronocial order for this very reason: it is easier to understnad a subject if you begin withits foundational works and then read systematically through  those books that build, one layer at a time, on this foundation.


The first step: Schedule regular reading and self study time.

* Set a time for self education-

    *Morning is bettter than evening (not for me-  I do better later in the evening)

    *Start short

    *Don't schedule yourself for study every day of the week.

    *Never check email (or turn on the tv) before your study time

    *Gaurd your time

    *Take 1st step now - schedule your self education time


The italics are my notes - even though this really isn't note form, this is what stood out to me during this chapter.  I like the way she compares with the trivium - I have tried to read Teaching the Trivium and I can't get through it - I have read enough of it to know that I like the Grammar. Logic, Rhetoric stages - maybe one day I will finish TTT.




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