Friday, August 07, 2009

Carl Hasler--GKC and/or Education: Why We No Longer Use Chalk

Trying a bit of live blogging at the conference, since the Pigott Auditorium has better reception than anyplace else I've been since obtaining internet.

Dale just gave a little talk on why everyone should join the American Chesterton Society. If you aren't a member, please consider joining. If you were a member in the past and let it lapse, please consider reenlisting.

Now, let's get to Carl. Carl is a teacher at the Collin County Community College, a place I used to actually live near when I lived in Plano, TX (in Collin County).

Carl reminded us, as we also heard last night, of the meaning of the words Tremendous Trifles, as the 100th anniversary of the publication of that book is what we are celebrating this year at the conference.

Chesterton is speaking of the false ideas of his days, lies proffered as truth. And the problem of education seems, to Hasler, a theme of the book.

Chesterton's ideas about education are so different from what passes as education today. Fads are implemented and the modern dark ages falls upon our children.

The Dumbest Generation is a book which relates this problem.

Chesterton says there are so many wonders to wonder at in this world, it is hard to learn enough about anything.

But today's generation is distracted by the things they engage in: TV, iPods, SmartPhones and computers. Not that each of these things isn't good, but that we don't appreciate them enough.

The new philosophy lies at the heart of the social and political sphere, as well as the education movement. Relativism is its name. These believe in the visible, but not the invisible.

Modern man has confused what causes what. Knowledge is knowing cause and effect.

As the wind blows the trees, so the spirit of philosophy and theology influences the material world: the society, cities, civilizations. A child may think the trees, like some gigantic fans, make the wind. Modern thinkers think the society makes the philosophy. But the real cause and effect, just like the wind and the trees, is that things happen in the sky before they happen on earth.

Nothing can be known if we don't understand what is abstract, what is invisible. We must properly educate the civilization. The truth is the wind moves the trees. the modern thinker says the trees move the wind (that man comes before philosophy).

We can only create a moral world when the revolution takes place, and people realize that the philosophy comes first.

I can't say I agree with Carl when he seems to pit real education against modern technology. He objects to the spending of money on computers in school. But computers are not the problem. It is the philosophy behind the teachers and the educational theories that is the problem.

I think Carl is right that education needs to begin with philosophy, and that the oldest philosophy is probably better than the newest experiments in education.

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