Friday, March 10, 2017

From the archives: You thought your reading list was challenging?

First posted March 2011
"A discussion of Little Women included everything from a lesson on the Civil War to an explanation of the allegory in The Pilgrim's Progress, which the little women in Alcott's novel loved to act out.  When the children studied Aristotle, they learned the principles of logical thinking.  Plato's Republic led to de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, which led to a discussion of different political systems, which brought in Orwell's Animal Farm, which touched off a discussion of Machiavelli, which led to a look at Chicago's City Council."--Marva Collins' Way (1982)
And how did Marva Collins get so smart?

"I read constantly in order to tie together fragments of information and interweave subjects.  As a business major in college I had not taken many courses in the arts and sciences.  My education was about the same as that of the average grammar school teacher, merely a sampling of some basic courses.  I had to teach myself more.  I read with an urgency so I could teach my students what they needed to know.  I believe a teacher has to keep polishing his or her skills.  You can't take the attitude 'I know how to teach,' and resist learning anything new." ~~ Marva Collins

"Theodore shouted, 'Hey, Mrs. Collins, that's cool.  Everything links into something else, doesn't it?'
"Marva beamed.  'Now you've got it.  Every scholar, every writer, every thinker learned from those who came before.  You are all becoming so erudite, we are going to have to dub you MGM--'Mentally Gifted Minors.'"

No comments: