As I mentioned in my last education post, I have a stack of books in front of me that have informed and are informing my educational philosophy, particularly as I plan for this coming year. I will be sharing several quotes and important concepts from each in the next few posts, but I want to start with Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness & Beauty. This is a dense book that was difficult for me to read and understand, but it contains beautiful truths that are vital in our lives. I will need to read it several more times through in order to grasp most of them. For now this summary quote is greatly impacting my contemplation of my role as a teacher in the lives of my children:
Thus, we must ask ourselves: Are we presenting music and mathematics, Beauty and symmetry, as inseparable? Do we teach our students to see athletic skill as an embodiment of control over chaos and thus exemplative of the processes of creation? Do our science classes teach that discovery of the workings of the world not only gives us knowledge but awakens us to the awe and wonder of the Incarnation itself? Do our history classes present the totality of history as an eschatological narrative from Garden to city, from creation to communion, from water to wine? Do our Bible classes present theology as rooted in philokalia, the love of Beauty? Do we teach our students that there is something extraordinary about the imagio Dei, that we yearn for a meaning and a purpose outside of ourselves, that we long for a Beauty that awakens us from our self-centered slumbers, that our hearts ache for a life filled with wonder and awe? Are we cultivating an insatiable desire in our students to encounter the True, the Good, and the Beautiful in a life-transforming way, a way that enables our souls to reach for and embrace a state of being than which none greater can possibly be thought?