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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scinece of Relations.

My favorite gleanings from my readings on the subject:

“Education is the Science of Relations. The idea that vivifies teaching in the Parents' Union is that Education is the Science of Relations; by which phrase we mean that children come into the world with a natural 'appetency,' to use Coleridge's word, for, and affinity with all the material of knowledge; for interest in the heroic past and in the age of myths; for a desire to know about everything that moves and lives, about strange places and strange peoples; for a wsh to handle material and to make; a desire to run and ride and row and do whatever the law of gravitation permits. Therefore we do not feel it is lawful in the early days of a child's life to select certain subjects for his education to the exclusion of others; to say he shall not learn Latin, for example, or shall not learn Science; but we endeavour that he shall have relations of pleasure and intimacy established with as many as possible of the interests proper to him; not learning a slight or incomplete smattering about this or that subject, but plunging into vital knowledge, with a great field before him which in all his life he will not be able to explore. In this conception we get that 'touch of emotion' which vivifies knowledge, for it is probable that we feel only as we are brought into our proper vital relations.”

“Children should have relations with earth and water, should run and leap, ride and swim, should establish the relation of maker to material in as many kinds as may be; should have dear and intimate relations with persons, through present intercourse, through tale or poem, picture or statue; through flint arrow-head or modern motor-car: beast and bird, herb and tree, they must have familiar acquaintance with. Other peoples and their languages must not be strange to them. Above all they should find that most intimate and highest of all Relationships, - the fulfillment of their being.
v3 p210

This is not a bewildering programme, because, in all these and more directions, children have affinities; and a human being does not fill his place in the universe without putting out tendrils of attachment in the directions proper to him. We must get rid of the notion that to learn the 'three R's' or the Latin grammar well a child should learn these and nothing else. It is as true for children as for ourselves that, the wider the range of interests, the more intelligent is the apprehension of each.”

On what does Fulness of Living depend? What is education after all? An answer lies in the phrase – Education is the Science of Relations... What we are concerned with is the fact that we personally have relations with all that there is in the present, all that there has been in the past, and all that there will be in the future – with all above us and all about us – and that fulness of living, expansion, expression, and serviceableness, for each of us depend upon how far we apprehend these relationships and how many of them we lay hold of. 
v3 p186

Every child is heir to an enormous patrimony, heir to all the ages, inheritor of all the present. The question is, what are the formalities (educational, not legal) necessary to put him in possession of that which is his? You perceive the point of view is shifted, and is no longer subjective, but objective, as regards the child. 
v3 p187

Enjoy! :)

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