Friday, August 17, 2007

And King Arthur was Homeschooled Too...

...with Merlyn as his tutor. In T.H. White's The Once and Future King, Merlyn kicks off the Wart's (Arthur's) education by turning him into a fish:
The Wart found that he had no clothes on. He found that he had tumbled off the drawbridge, landing with a smack on his side in the water. He found that the moat and the bridge had grown hundreds of times bigger. He knew that he was turning into a fish.
"Oh Merlyn, " he cried. "Please come too!"
"For this once," said a large and solemn tench beside his ear. "I will come. But in future you will have to go by yourself. Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance."
--T.H. White, The Once and Future King
Merlyn has made us a beginning. And so has Muad'Dib. That education is experience, that every experience carries its lesson, that self-reliance is a necessary element -- are true. But education must necessarily be more than experience. It must go beyond experience. After all, what is life but one long succession of experiences? And how many people go through life's experiences without ever learning its lessons? Experience alone is a shaky foundation for knowledge, shakier still for faith. It is not our experiences, but how we reflect upon our experiences, which matters. And if our reflection leads us to the wrong conclusions, what then? Thus education also means imparting a framework through which we can interpret our experiences.

"Logic!" said the Professor, half to himself. "Why don't they teach logic at these schools?"
-- C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe


Renae said...

I gave you the Blogger Reflection Award. If you would like to participate pick up your badge at Life Nurturing Education and then pass it on to five other reflective bloggers.

(I don't like leaving comments that aren't about the post so please feel free to delete this.)

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