J. Gresham Machen on modern pedagogy

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Modern pedagogy has emancipated us, whether we be in the pulpit or in the professor’s chair or in the pew, from anything so irksome as earnest labor in the acquisition of knowledge. It never seems to occur to many modern teachers that the primary business of the teacher is to study the subject that he is going to teach. Instead of studying the subject that he is going to teach, he studies “education”; a knowledge of the methodology of teaching takes the place of a knowledge of the particular branch of literature, history or science to which a man has devoted his life. This substitution of methodology for content in the preparation of the teacher is based upon a particular view of what education is. It is based upon the view that education consists primarily, not in the imparting of information, but in a training of the faculties of the child; that the business of the teacher is not to teach, but to develop in the child a faculty which will enable the child to learn.

This child-centred notion of education seems to involve emancipation from a vast amount of drudgery. It used to be thought necessary to do some hard work at school. When a textbook was given to a class, it was expected that the contents of the textbook should be mastered. But now all that has been changed. Storing up facts in the mind was a long and painful process, and it is indeed comforting to know that we can now do without it. Away with all drudgery and all hard work! Self-expression has taken their place, A great pedagogic discovery has been made the discovery that it is possible to think with a completely empty mind. ...

For more, see J. Gresham Machen on modern pedagogy.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Modern pedagogy has emancipated us, whether we be in the pulpit or in the professor’s chair or in the pew, from anything so irksome as earnest labor in the acquisition of knowledge. It never seems to occur to many modern teachers that the primary business of the teacher is to study the subject that he is going to teach. Instead of studying the subject that he is going to teach, he studies “education”; a knowledge of the methodology of teaching takes the place of a knowledge of the particular branch of literature, history or science to which a man has devoted his life. This substitution of methodology for content in the preparation of the teacher is based upon a particular view of what education is. It is based upon the view that education consists primarily, not in the imparting of information, but in a training of the faculties of the child; that the business of the teacher is not to teach, but to develop in the child a faculty which will enable the child to learn.

This child-centred notion of education seems to involve emancipation from a vast amount of drudgery. It used to be thought necessary to do some hard work at school. When a textbook was given to a class, it was expected that the contents of the textbook should be mastered. But now all that has been changed. Storing up facts in the mind was a long and painful process, and it is indeed comforting to know that we can now do without it. Away with all drudgery and all hard work! Self-expression has taken their place, A great pedagogic discovery has been made the discovery that it is possible to think with a completely empty mind. ...

For more, see J. Gresham Machen on modern pedagogy.

A corollary to this: burn all textbooks. They are simply glorified anthologies.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
So very true!
Here is a fellow I follow. He advocates explicit instruction. When I was going back to school for my license I was taught all of what Machen rightly castigates (as I believe I expressed on here back then). So finding Ashman was a God send. Whenever I have tried PBL in math or some form of more 'engaging instruction' only a select few get anything out of it.
 
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