Towards A Philosophy of Education (Desire of Knowledge - Curiosity)

As I said, I have been reading Volume 6 of Charlotte Mason's series.
Her wisdom, my thoughts:


The Desire of Knowledge (Curiosity) was the chief instrument of education; that this desire might be paralysed or made powerless like an unused limb by encouraging other desires to intervene between a child and the knowledge proper for him; the desire for place, - emulation; for prizes, - avarice; for power, - ambition; for praise, - vanity, might each be a stumbling block to him.

It seemed to me that we teachers had unconsciously elaborated a system which should secure the discipline of the schools and the eagerness of the scholars, - by means of marks, prizes, and the like, - and yet eliminate the knowledge-hunger, itself the quite sufficient incentive to education.

                                                                                                                                      Charlotte Mason, Volume 6, p.11


We were all at one point, during our childhood, wide eyed about everything we saw. At that early stage, the world was our classroom. Everything was interesting. But for most, the glint in the eyes turned dim and lost its desire to learn. Learning and Knowing became tedious. It became a chore.

The fact that Curiosity is quite natural for children is something I ought to use. It is a very fragile stage that can quickly pass and subside if not guided properly. I should learn to carefully guide this natural curiosity and not kill it by replacing unnecessary things in place of knowledge itself. I believe that this Curiosity is one that will differentiate mere mechanical thinking from one that is organic. One of the goals I’m aiming and need to pray for is for my children to grow and continue to have that desire to learn. To actually love learning and view it more than mere accumulation of facts.

I read and hear so much about pressuring kids into the academic world. One of the latest I've heard was training four year old kids in a preschool program to write in complete sentences to get into the "best" kindergarten schools. The pressure for preschoolers to compete with silly (I could not think of another word) academic goals is just really sad. Kids just can't be kids nowadays.  

At this early stage of our learning at home, I find it profoundly simpler and fulfilling to let my son explore through his senses more than follow an elaborate lesson plan. I find it easier and more beneficial for him to see and learn from an atmosphere rich in ideas. I also find it more natural not to push his limits and simply respect his childhood. There is a time for everything. Being a 4 year old passes too quickly. 

One of the things that drew me to the CM method was its understanding and respect for the little ones. One sees the child for who he is. One does not look down at him and he is definitely not a "project". He is a person. I believe this view and understanding paves way for a richer learning experience.


  1. That's a good comment. Yes, Swamiji was not satisfied with India's that time's education system:

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