Thursday, September 12, 2013

On "Of Education"

          "Of Education" has solidified a recent inkling of mine that essays are my favorite type of literary genre. This is just a beautifully organized piece of work, right?
          So, Milton doesn't seem to be at peace with the education he was given. I guess that's why he's spent so much time crafting the ideal education for others:

•Start with grammar and usage
•arithmetic and geometry
•agriculture and physiology
•various sciences (such as botany and anatomy)
•experiences of working people (shepherds and farmers)
•economics, politics, and law

          Interestingly enough, he emphasizes that logic's place in education is very nearly at the end of a student's learning experience. "Logic, therefore, so much as is useful, is to be referred to this due place with all her well-couched heads and topics until it be time to open her contracted palm into a grace and ornate rhetoric..." Is this because he believes that logic, if taught to early, can close off a students mind to the other important facets of education? If so, I can't help but agree with him.
          He also says that a student needs to close each day with scripture reading and the study of theology because "The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright..." and "that they may with some judgment contemplate upon moral good and evil." At first, I wasn't sure I ever considered this the end means of an education, but then I remembered... one of BYU's goals is that we bring the spirit into our education as much as the subject matter with allow. Kudos to us for following Milton's lead.

1 comment:

  1. He was objecting to logic being too central or early in the curriculum mostly because it had been overemphasized in trifling ways in the late middle ages (something humanists reacted against when they made rhetoric more central to their teaching). I was pleased to see you connecting Milton's educational plan to the goals of a BYU education. Always appropriate. Do you think he was relegating the spiritual to something secondary?