Dorothy sayers essay on classical education

She bemoaned the industrial complex that had turned education into a factory, teaching children in repetitive ways. Students were proficient at gaining knowledge, she explained, but could not think critically, solve complex problems, or master the art of learning. Sayers called for a return to the Classical Method of education which was born in ancient Greece and widely used during the Renaissance. The underlying theory is that children learn in stages — first through memorization, then through logic and reasoning, and then through persuasion and communication.

Dorothy sayers essay on classical education

In this speech, Ms. This approach has been most popularized by the private classical schools that have sprung up since Logos School began in Moscow, Idaho. The most vigorous outgrowth of this philosophy has been the premise that there is a distinct grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric way to teach every subject, from art to zoology.

Historic Classical Education The second major idea is a return to historic classical education. In this approach, the three core subjects of each of the trivium stages become the sole subjects studied during that stage, just as they were historically.

A correlation can in fact be made between the historic core of classical education: The historic approach to classical education, with modification, has been most popularized by Memoria Press in its core curriculum and web articles.

It is because classical education carries a distinct language imperative; it is a completely language-centered education. The study of grammar teaches a child the standard of language usage and the meaning it conveys in the cultural convention.

It teaches a child how language conveys truth or falsehood, and how to think rightly in language all thought occurs in language. The study of rhetoric is the next rung in the ladder of language mastery.

It teaches a child how to effectively and eloquently communicate, using the language convention, what is now known to be true.

The three subjects of the stages of the trivium can really be thought of as the three stages of language mastery.

At the end of the study, a child can truly understand without being subject to manipulation as advertisers or politicians Dorothy sayers essay on classical education doand be truly understood: It is because God is a God of His Word.

He spoke, and it came to be. He has chosen to reveal Himself to man by the Word. It was so that every child be proficient in language use as a tool, in order to read and understand the Bible.

In those days, every pastor was facile in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin grammarable to tell truth from falsehood in his doctrine dialecticand able to expound eloquently on the Scriptures rhetoric. Language is also the medium in which Truth is expressed, and Jesus promised that we should know the truth, and that knowing it will set us free.

Language is also the medium in which the Lie is expressed; every lie which Satan has lied to man since the beginning. Every human being ought to have mastery of the medium in which truth and lies are expressed. There is a related reason: The ability to effectively and eloquently express truth, the goal of rhetoric, is not optional for believers.

Subjects Dorothy Sayers taught that when we focus solely on teaching subjects, as is common in modern education, rather than the tools of learning, we have sacrificed something important in the process of educating children: They learn everything, except the art of learning.

There is a school of thought which believes this to be the right way to set about the job.

Dorothy sayers essay on classical education

But observe, it is not the way in which a trained craftsman will go about to teach himself a new medium. The difference between teaching tools of learning and teaching subject matter can be subtle, especially since we use some subjects to teach tools, such as using the subject of Latin and English grammar to teach the tool of concrete thinking and fact-finding.

The distinction is in the attitude and focus of the teacher: When teaching subject matter for its own sake supercedes that attitude and focus, then we have left teaching the tools of learning.

The Three-Legged Stool The Dorothy Sayers method of classical education does not guide us as to core subjects; she describes the method to use to learn any subject.

Dorothy sayers essay on classical education

The historic method of classical education likewise does not provide a curriculum comprehensive enough to meet the requirements of most state homeschooling laws.

A truly optimum classical education, then, ought to be like a three-legged stool. One leg would be the mastery of language with a biblical foundation: English and Latin grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

The second leg would be the mastery of mathematics with a biblical foundation: Mathematics is also a language, and also teaches precise thinking and logic in another way.

The third leg would be Christian and Western Civilization with a biblical foundation, so that the culture may be transferred from one generation to the next, allowing it to endure and progress.

Modern Classical Education

Western Civilization, which is based upon and is an outgrowth of Christianity, includes history, literature, art, music, science, philosophy, law, government, and other related topics, all on their biblical foundations.

Out of all the subjects which might be studied under the umbrella of Western Civilization, history and literature are the most important. History, because the plan of salvation and the work of God among men rests on a historical foundation; God has commanded parents to instruct children in what has happened before; and the study of history helps impart wisdom and judgment to those who engage in it -- foolish choices and their consequences are seen played out on the historical stage, so that foolishness need not be repeated.

Literature, because, as C. Lewis wrote, Our whole destiny seems to lie in the opposite direction, in being as little as possible ourselves, in acquiring a fragrance that is not our own but borrowed, in becoming clean mirrors filled with the image of a face that is not oursBy Dorothy Sayers That I, whose experience of teaching is extremely limited, and whose life of recent years has been almost wholly out of touch with educational circles, should presume to discuss education is a matter, surely, that calls for no apology.

It is a kind of behaviour to which the present climate of opinion is wholly favourable. In a 23 page essay written in , Dorothy Sayers argues for the relevance and use of the Trivium, the classical and medieval foundation of education based on /5.

Again we see that while Sayers’ essay seems to imply that grammar was for little children, dialectic for preteens, and rhetoric for teens and older, the case of actual classical education was quite different–a “solid foundation” for all seven liberal arts, as well as many of .

Why Work? DOROTHY SAYERS I have already, on a previous occasion, spoken at some length on the subject of Work and Vocation. What I urged then was a thoroughgoing revolution in our whole attitude to.

Dorothy Leigh Sayers (/ s ɛər z /; 13 June – 17 December ) was a renowned English crime writer and poet. She was also a student of classical and modern languages.

She is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between the First and Second World Wars that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, which remain popular to this day.

In her essay, The Lost Tools of Learning, Dorothy Sayers claims that the true goal of education is to teach people how to think critically and learn independently.

In order to pursue this academic ideal, Sayers proposes a return to the Trivium of the Middle Ages.

Dorothy L. Sayers - Wikipedia