Sunday, October 21, 2007

What Students Owe Their Teachers

I've been dipping somewhat informally into Fr. Schall's Another Sort of Learning and really liked this tidbit:

...to be a student requires a certain modicum of humility.

Yet to be a student also requires a certain amount of faith in oneself, a certain self-insight that makes a person realize that he can learn something that seems unlearnable in the beginning. This trust in the teacher also implies that the student, if he has trouble understanding, makes this known to the teacher. Teachers just assume that everything they say or illustrate is luminously clear. A student does a teacher a favor by saying, "I do not understand this". But the student should first really try to understand before speaking. To quote Augustine again, students should "consider within themselves whether what has been explained has been said truly."

The student ought to have the virtue of docility. He owes the teacher his capacity of being taught. We must allow ourselves to be taught. We can actually refuse this openness of our own free wills.

UPDATE: An anonymous commentor reminded me that Schall's Another Sort of Learning is available online here. He (she?) also recommended A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning which is available online here. Thanks!

5 comments:

Suzanne Temple said...

I loved these bits from Schall's book, too.

Anonymous said...

Schall is the best. Be sure to read his On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs, along with all his other books. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Also see this:

http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/schallj/

And particularly this:

http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/schallj/WS17BJVS.htm

Send the latter to everyone you know.

Love2Learn Mom said...

I couldn't get the second link to work. Could you please send the title of the page so I can find it from the first link?

Love2Learn Mom said...

Ah, I found it, just add a ".htm" to the last link (A Student's Guide to Libearl Learning).