Author Topic: A Traditional Education  (Read 3328 times)

Offline Pæniteo

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A Traditional Education
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:29:05 PM »
In the "good old days", people were taught subjects in order of importance. The first were grammar, logic, and rhetoric. While learning how to do something (learning a skill, trade, or fact) is another important part of education, to be a functional social human being able to conduct themselves rationally.

Learning how to think and communication is essential. This is in contrast to the prescription and descriptive histories, maths, grammars, natural sciences taught in the many years of mandatory schooling. People learn facts and systems, and then taught to have an opinion on anything and to value that opinion. Without restraint.

Even our political system is built on lack of exercise of reason, but on popular appeal, posturing, and selfish gains.

We call things "trivial" which are easy and barely worth addressing, this is from the name given to the three subjects listed above "trivium", but how many people can honestly say what is "logical" or "illogical" and find studying logic to be confusing? How strong is the animal of man!

We mostly have grammar (how to use a language). But I think we are largely left in the dark with logic and rhetoric (which leads to poor thinking and poor communication).

If we are going to engage in discussions publicly online, about the Faith and matters which pertain to our lives, I think we have a duty to be mindful of the basics of logic and rhetoric.

This book (available in print or now apparently as a Kindle book) is probably a good start: http://www.amazon.com/Being-Logical-Guide-Good-Thinking/dp/0812971159/

Other resources which can be recommended would be good too.
 

Offline EcceQuamBonum

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 09:34:10 PM »
All of Professor McInerny's books are fantastic.  FSSP Publications publishes them all, I believe.  He has a longer, more technical introduction to logic, as well as works on metaphysics, ethics, psychology, epistemology, and natural theology.

The page with his works at Fraternity Publications may be found here:  http://tinyurl.com/aex4yf7
"Sero Te amavi, Pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova.  Sero Te amavi!"-Confessions, X.27

"You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions."--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4
 

Offline Pæniteo

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 09:38:00 PM »
All of Professor McInerny's books are fantastic.  FSSP Publications publishes them all, I believe.  He has a longer, more technical introduction to logic, as well as works on metaphysics, ethics, psychology, epistemology, and natural theology.

The page with his works at Fraternity Publications may be found here:  http://tinyurl.com/aex4yf7

I was going to post the FSSP website for this, but I did not want to put the focus on any particular Priestly Fraternity.

Introduction to Foundational Logic is a great book too. Very complete. However, that is a text book, and it is possibly more than what an active Catholic in the world could use, but I have it and it is very good.

But, for most people, learning the basics, identifying basic logical proofs, and importantly learning about common logical fallacies, should provide the basis for being ready to engage. Of course, learning logic still requires one actively use it. Learning it by itself doesn't help.
 

Offline EcceQuamBonum

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 09:56:34 PM »
We mostly have grammar (how to use a language). But I think we are largely left in the dark with logic and rhetoric (which leads to poor thinking and poor communication).

As someone who has to read volumes of freshman comp. essays, I believe that something went awry in my students' collective education in grammar.  I fear even grammar is no longer taught particularly well.  Unfortunately, a failure to comprehend grammar inhibits clarity of thought just as much as an ignorance of logic or rhetoric.
"Sero Te amavi, Pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova.  Sero Te amavi!"-Confessions, X.27

"You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions."--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 11:18:14 PM »
We mostly have grammar (how to use a language). But I think we are largely left in the dark with logic and rhetoric (which leads to poor thinking and poor communication).

As someone who has to read volumes of freshman comp. essays, I believe that something went awry in my students' collective education in grammar.  I fear even grammar is no longer taught particularly well.  Unfortunately, a failure to comprehend grammar inhibits clarity of thought just as much as an ignorance of logic or rhetoric.

I remember having a reading class, an English class(where we diagrammed and wrote essays), and a spelling class where we would learn words based on Latin and Greek roots and thematic units. This was from 5-8th grade in a post VII Catholic school. While my catechism was bad, I did learn how to use the English language, which prepared us for high school writing and foreign language learning.
Now, middle schoolers have one language arts class. 
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.
 
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Offline EcceQuamBonum

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 11:25:21 PM »
We mostly have grammar (how to use a language). But I think we are largely left in the dark with logic and rhetoric (which leads to poor thinking and poor communication).

As someone who has to read volumes of freshman comp. essays, I believe that something went awry in my students' collective education in grammar.  I fear even grammar is no longer taught particularly well.  Unfortunately, a failure to comprehend grammar inhibits clarity of thought just as much as an ignorance of logic or rhetoric.

I remember having a reading class, an English class(where we diagrammed and wrote essays), and a spelling class where we would learn words based on Latin and Greek roots and thematic units. This was from 5-8th grade in a post VII Catholic school. While my catechism was bad, I did learn how to use the English language, which prepared us for high school writing and foreign language learning.
Now, middle schoolers have one language arts class.

Yep, that sounds about right, unfortunately.  I benefited from a fairly decent education in English at my public school.  We actually diagrammed sentences, which I love to do and make my poetry students do on occasion to help them understand complicated syntax.  However, it was only when I started taking Latin in high school that I finally internalized grammar as a structure of thought--the parts of speech, how they function, the effects they have.  I don't claim to be a great writer, but I hope at least to be a clear one.  My composition students don't even seem to care if they're coherent...
"Sero Te amavi, Pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova.  Sero Te amavi!"-Confessions, X.27

"You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions."--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4
 

Offline Penelope

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 11:28:31 PM »
We mostly have grammar (how to use a language). But I think we are largely left in the dark with logic and rhetoric (which leads to poor thinking and poor communication).

As someone who has to read volumes of freshman comp. essays, I believe that something went awry in my students' collective education in grammar.  I fear even grammar is no longer taught particularly well.  Unfortunately, a failure to comprehend grammar inhibits clarity of thought just as much as an ignorance of logic or rhetoric.

I remember having a reading class, an English class(where we diagrammed and wrote essays), and a spelling class where we would learn words based on Latin and Greek roots and thematic units. This was from 5-8th grade in a post VII Catholic school. While my catechism was bad, I did learn how to use the English language, which prepared us for high school writing and foreign language learning.
Now, middle schoolers have one language arts class.

Yes, when I was in grade school (in a Catholic school in the '90s), we had three separate parts of the day devoted to reading, grammar, and spelling. I don't know that we spent time on all three subjects every single day, but they were separate subjects. I must have been given a decent foundation in these areas since I was able to become a high school English teacher, and I do certainly see a lack of proper education in these subjects now. My students' writing and critical thinking skills leave much to be desired.
 

Offline Penelope

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 11:29:08 PM »
My composition students don't even seem to care if they're coherent...

"Aw, c'mon. You knew what I was trying to say. Isn't that good enough?"
 

Offline EcceQuamBonum

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 11:31:08 PM »
My composition students don't even seem to care if they're coherent...

"Aw, c'mon. You knew what I was trying to say. Isn't that good enough?"

Hahahaha.  I can tell you're an English teacher.   ;D

I always tell my kids that the department forgot to issue me my clairvoyant's helmet, so they'll just have to be clearer. 
"Sero Te amavi, Pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova.  Sero Te amavi!"-Confessions, X.27

"You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions."--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 11:32:36 PM »
EQB, do you teach high school or university level?
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.
 

Offline EcceQuamBonum

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 11:33:49 PM »
EQB, do you teach high school or university level?

I teach at the university level--as a TA, mind you.  We get all the lovely gigs that the big shots can't be bothered to teach.   ;D
"Sero Te amavi, Pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova.  Sero Te amavi!"-Confessions, X.27

"You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions."--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 11:35:01 PM »
EQB, do you teach high school or university level?

I teach at the university level--as a TA, mind you.  We get all the lovely gigs that the big shots can't be bothered to teach.   ;D

One day, you will be a big shot. What is your area of concentration?
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.
 

Offline EcceQuamBonum

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 11:40:39 PM »
EQB, do you teach high school or university level?

I teach at the university level--as a TA, mind you.  We get all the lovely gigs that the big shots can't be bothered to teach.   ;D

One day, you will be a big shot. What is your area of concentration?

Ha!  I'm not so sure I want to be one.  I see the personal lives that many of my big-shot professors lead, and I think I'd much rather have a quiet, retired, provincial teaching job.

My area of concentration is 18thC British poetry, going back into the 17thC.
"Sero Te amavi, Pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova.  Sero Te amavi!"-Confessions, X.27

"You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions."--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4
 

Offline Bonaventure

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 02:33:13 AM »
A long time ago, people took the idea of forming the entire self seriously. Even if one did not have their spiritual house in order, they could fall back onto philosophy, their education, language, and so forth. Today, the goal of education is finding a job. Get into good kindergarten ---> get into good grammar and so on, until the college level. The focus on economics increases, and the quality of education goes down every year.

Nowadays, education and formation is up to the individual.
 
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Offline Penelope

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Re: A Traditional Education
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 02:56:29 AM »
A long time ago, people took the idea of forming the entire self seriously. Even if one did not have their spiritual house in order, they could fall back onto philosophy, their education, language, and so forth. Today, the goal of education is finding a job. Get into good kindergarten ---> get into good grammar and so on, until the college level. The focus on economics increases, and the quality of education goes down every year.

Nowadays, education and formation is up to the individual.

That's exactly right. What a sad state of affairs.
 
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