Here we have the last chapter which is followed by the Postscript.
We will end our posts here with this last chapter.
It starts with a quote from L.P. Jacks which announces that the words 'problem' and 'solution' are not found in the Bible. This is almost unimaginable to our modern minds because don't we think of everything as either a problem or a solution? Haven't we reduced the Bible to 10 Steps to Success?
On the first page of the chapter Sayers summarizes and I find it a bit sad. Here she is in 1941 saying,
"...that something has gone seriously wrong with our conception of humanity and of humanity's proper attitude to the universe. We have begun to suspect that the purely analytical approach to phenomena is only leading us further and further into the abyss of disintegration and randomness, and that it is becoming urgently necessary to construct a synthesis of life."
On page 185 she clearly indicts our school system, a school system which our president feels should be expanded to PreK. Sayers accuses us of doing 'violence to the very structure of our being." We could hardly start this violence too soon, could we?
She later goes on to take to task the idea of 'mastery.' I find this section very important because it is on this point that people trying to undo the violence often go astray. But 'mastery' is the exact wrong word. Sayers says we should rather "...co-operate with it in love..."
The key words that alert us that we may be on the wrong track in tackling educational reforms are 'problem' and 'solution.' Sayers says that our "... incapacity for asking the right question has grown, in our time and country, to the proportions of an endemic disease."
She then goes on to explain how our "careless use of the words "problem" and "solution" can betray us into habits of thought that are not merely inadequate but false."
So we find that children are not a series of inputs. This is very important because as long as we think of our homeschools as inputs with outcomes we will never go about it the right way. We must first understand that 'Children are born persons' as Charlotte Mason would say. The mystery is intact.
"Man can table the integers and arrange them into problems which he can solve in the terms in which they are set. But before the inscrutable mystery of the integers themselves he is helpless, unless he calls upon that Tri-Unity in himself which is made in the image of God, and can include and create the integers."
"This is the vocation of the creative mind of man."
How does this way of thinking change us?
And so we close the book. It has not been an easy book to read. It is a book that rather than just speak truth tries to explain it. I have now read this book 3 times in the last 30 years and I think it will be worthwhile to read it again in the future. I also recently read C.S. Lewis's Weight of Glory essay and book. Andrew Kern says it is required reading for the Circe Conference. Perhaps in a few weeks we can tackle that short book or at least the one essay.