Sunday, June 29, 2008

CM/Classical Lesson Plans

A CM Series member linked to this PDF of the CHild Light newsletter
One of the articles, by Carroll Smith, discusses a Charlotte Mason type lesson plan which goes as follows:

1. Teacher introduces the new text
2. Student recreation of old text (imaginative review)
3. Reading of living book text
4. Narration of living book text
5. Grand conversation
6. Closing
The article goes on to discuss these steps in more detail, so if you are interested, check out the PDF. I first noticed that CM proposed more complicated lesson plans than simply: Read/Narrate when I was reading this section of Home Education. If you scroll down to the pictorial arts sections, you see some sample art lessons that include basically these same components. Also, this Parent's Review article called "A Rational Lesson" has similar components.

What interests me about this is that the process used is so similar to the Ignatian Method. Often when you read about the Ratio Studiorum (the Ignatian Method in practice, written in the 16th century) it sounds very formal and teacher-directed. I think this is true to some extent, but I also know that it is common understanding that the Ignatian Method depends upon the self-activity of the student. Also, that the Ignatian Method is based on Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises.

Here is a summary that I wrote of the Ignatian method, several years ago, using several different sources -- it is a bit different than CM's, but has a fair amount of overlap:

  1. Recalling the past lesson -- forging a link between past work and present
  2. Introducing new lesson, clearing away possible obstacles and preparing child's mind and imagination to work on the reading.
  3. The Reading itself.
  4. A brief review (narration)
  5. Recitation (discussion, etc)
  6. Extensions: writing a theme, a memory lesson, sometimes a "contest" (students would debate or take different sides of an issue), or erudition (researching a related topic to present to the class on the next day)
Anyway, being familiar with this format is helping me do a bit more preparation ahead of time.

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