Monday, August 15, 2016

Restful Teaching Seminar Notes...

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I had the opportunity to watch the Restful Teaching seminar by Andrew Kern and Matt Bianco with a friend via download replays and it was fabulous!  The seminar had five sessions, including:

  • Restful Teaching: Why restful teaching rises when teaching is oriented toward perceiving truth and Truth
  • Restful Planning: There are three modes of teaching/learning (the three columns) that enable us to plan restfully
  • The Restful Curriculum: The arts of truth-fishing
  • Restful Pedagogy: Teaching truth
  • Restful Assessment: Evaluating truth perception

Today, I thought I would share my notes in the hope of easing some anxiety you may have as we gear up to begin the 2016-2017 academic year.  I've highlighted some key points in pink that stuck out to me.  If you've watched or were able to attend the Restful Teaching seminar, I'd love to chat in the comments section below.

Restful Teaching

Restful teaching is not dumbing down
We should ask ourselves, "Is it philosophy if it can't be put into practice?"
Principles govern practices, practices are individual

Andrew Kern suggested 5 principles

  1. Principles set you free
  2. Practices not derived from principles enslave you - a person who is not thinking for himself is not a free person
  3. Bad caricatures lead to bad thinking, bad thinking leads to bad actions
  4. Therefore, we need to align our thinking and actions - thinking guides actions (this is wisdom)
  5. Everything begins with a caricature

Caricature -
  1. a picture, description, etc., ludicrously exaggerating the peculiarities or defects of persons or things:
His caricature of the mayor in this morning's paper is the best he's ever drawn.
  1. the art or process of producing such pictures, descriptions, etc.
  2. any imitation or copy so distorted or inferior as to be ludicrous.

What we are is more important than what we do

Saying "yeah, but" is Socratic discussion

Restful Planning

Matt Bianco began with Where is the Lord? - we see this in the Gospel of John, chapter 1

The object of education is to train our children to perceive truth, so when truth is the Lord, they recognize Him. 

There are two truths - upper case "T" truth and lower case "t" truth

Truth is God. Everything else is truth.

We need restfulness in rigor and diligence

     (Logos Incarnate)
       (art of truth perception)
Discuss an artifact or phrase
Contemplation of artifact or phrase
Reproduce (assessment)
Joy incarnate
Feedback on mastery of the given skill or art

adj (usually immediately postpositive)
1. possessing bodily form, esp the human form: a devil incarnate.
2. personified or typified: stupidity incarnate.
3. (Botany) (esp of plant parts) flesh-coloured or pink
vb (tr)
4. to give a bodily or concrete form to
5. to be representative or typical of
[C14: from Late Latin incarnāre to make flesh, from Latin in-2 + carō flesh]

To incarnate means to become flesh. The incarnation of Jesus is when the human nature (Jesus the man) was added to the nature of God the second person of the Trinity. It is where God became a man (John 1:114Phil. 2:5-8). It was the voluntary act of Jesus to humble Himself so that He might die for our sins (1 Pet. 3:18). Thus, Jesus has two natures: Divine and human. This is known as the Hypostatic Union.

Every piece of information orders the soul towards Truth if you use it to do so

Curriculum makes you a slave

How to implement chart above:

Choose any subject (ex. History)
Make list of truths/principles regarding that subject
Make list of desired skills you want your child to attain while studying that subject
Make list of content to study about that subject - should be smallest and most insignificant list

"Succession is difficult." - Andrew Kern

It's totally OK to learn as we teach.

  1. Identify the goal or desired outcome of teaching each subject
  2. What column on the chart does that goal come from?
  3. Teach accordingly/appropriately
  4. Having taught based on the column, assess them, give specific feedback

Constantly reorient, repent, and take your time

Content is less important than Truth.  Truth exalts content to its honorable place as a servant, but when content raises itself to the position of master it renders everything meaningless.

Truth is way more important than skills.

Restful Curriculum

7 Liberal Arts - grammar, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, geometry, harmonics, astronomy

Mathematics is a place of rest.  It's orderly and ends with an answer.

Restful Pedagogy

Don't try to justify the reason for teaching - don't reduce to utilitarian (ex. You will need this math because some day your going to be a ….) - in line with Charlotte Mason

Restful Assessment

Goal is to point students toward Logos - orient towards Truth

We want to perceive and embody Truth.

Curriculum: learn to perceive Truth

Pedagogy: Incarnate the Logos when we teach so that the student having perceived the Truth has incarnated.

Students will learn what I embody, not what I intend to teach.  (modeling for imitation)

More than any other lesson, we must teach how to have faith in a world that doesn't have it!

Ephesians 5:1

We have to demonstrate faith in discord.

Assessment: Able to perceive and therefore incarnate Truth/Logos of the lesson

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