If you have read my book The Classical Unschooler, you know that I think The Lost Tools of Learning is arguably the best essay I have read about how learning takes place and so how best to teach (and learn!)
If you haven’t read it yet, make it a point to do so.
Here are some great takeaways from the book to whet your appetite.
Although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think? They learn everything, except the art of learning.
For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armour was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects.
We who were scandalised in 1940 when men were sent to fight armoured tanks with rifles, are not scandalised when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of “subjects”; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotised by the arts of the spell-binder, we have the impudence to be astonished. We dole out lip-service to the importance of educationlip-service and, just occasionally, a little grant of money; we postpone the school leaving-age, and plan to build bigger and better schools; the teachers slave conscientiously in and out of school-hours, till responsibility becomes a burden and a nightmare; and yet, as I believe, all this devoted effort is largely frustrated, because we have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal job of it.
You can buy The Lost Tools of Learning here.
And if you haven’t yet read The Classical Unschooler, pick up a copy here.