Theory Vs Experience

“At the moment, a good deal of what passes as instruction in classical pedagogy is mere theory, not experience or common sense, and this is because there are relatively few veteran teachers have with big platforms in the classical Christian movement. Instead: consultants, administrators, college profs, and bloggers. Give me the ten biggest names in classical Christian education right now—how many of them are elementary teachers? How many are high school teachers? Obviously, the movement needs consultants, administrators, bloggers, and so forth, for all these people play significant, indispensable roles. Don’t get me wrong. My concern has more to do with who is teaching teachers how to teach. Do the people teaching teachers how to teach have much experience? Are they using that experience to tutor the inexperienced?

It wasn’t until my fifteenth year teaching that I realized Dorothy Sayers’s notion of a “pert stage” and a “poetic stage” simply did not correspond with what I saw in the classroom. She was on to something with the “poll-parrot stage,” but I think that stage goes all the way to age eighteen. Looking back, I had seen the pert stage and poetic stage were mere fantasy much earlier in my career, but it took me years to put two-and-two together because so much of how I understood the classroom was filtered through the claims or inexperienced theorists.”

-from Put The Trivium On Ice And Cover The Basics First, my latest for CiRCE

Published by Joshua Gibbs

Sophist. De-activist. Hack. Avid indoorsman.

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