School Education, the third volume of Charlotte Mason's Homeschooling Series, consists of thoughts about the teaching and curriculum of children aged 9-12, either at school or at home. She suggests that parents should practice what she calls "masterly inactivity"-not neglectful or permissive parenting, but simply allowing children to work things out for themselves, do things for themselves, learn from their own mistakes, and to have time for free play, and space for spontaneity.
Charlotte Mason uses "living books" instead of dry textbooks; in this book, she discusses what kinds of books to look for in each subject, and how to use them to teach children to love knowledge and become real readers and lifelong learners. Charlotte Mason was a late nineteenth-century British educator whose ideas were far ahead of her time. She believed that children are born persons worthy of respect, rather than blank slates, and that it was better to feed their growing minds with living literature and vital ideas and knowledge, rather than dry facts and knowledge filtered and pre-digested by the teacher.
Her method of education, still used by some private schools and many homeschooling families, is gentle and flexible, especially with younger children, and includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, conveying wonder and arousing curiosity, and through reflection upon great art, music, and poetry; nature observation as the primary means of early science teaching; use of manipulatives and real-life application to understand mathematical concepts and learning to reason, rather than rote memorization and working endless sums; and an emphasis on character and on cultivating and maintaining good personal habits. Schooling is teacher-directed, not child-led, but school time should be short enough to allow students free time to play and to pursue their own worthy interests such as handicrafts.
Table of Contents
1. Docility and Authority in the Home and the School 2. Docility and Authority in the Home and the School Part II: How the Authority Behaves 3. ‘Masterly Inactivity’ 4. Some of the Rights of Children as Persons 5. Psychology in Relation to Current Thought 6. Some Educational Theories Examined 7. An Adequate Theory of Education 8. Certain Relations Proper to a Child 9. A Great Educationalist (A Review) 10. Some Unconsidered Aspects of Physical Training 11. Some Unconsidered Aspects of Intellectual Training 12. Some Unconsidered Aspects of Moral Training 13. Some Unconsidered Aspects of Religious Training 14. A Master-Thought 15. School-Books and How They Make for Education 16. How to Use School-Books 17. Education, the Science of Relations: We are Educated by our Intimacies: The Prelude and the Praeterita 18. We are Educated by our Intimacies Part 2: Further Affinities 19. We are Educated by our Intimacies Part 3: Vocation 20. Suggestions Towards a Curriculum Pt 1 21. Suggestions Towards a Curriculum Pt 2 – School Books 22. Suggestions Towards a Curriculum Pt 3 – The Love of Knowledge
Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason (1 January 1842 – 16 January 1923) was a British educationalist in England at the turn of the twentieth century. Her revolutionary methods led to a shift from utilitarian education to the education of a child upon living ideas. She was inspired by current brain research, by the writings of John Amos Comenius, Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin.