Montaigne: Education: Term Paper

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Montaigne: Education

Education: "Of the Education of Children" Michel de Montaigne 1579-1580 (http://glad.best.vwh.net/montaigne/essay02.htm)

What is the necessity of education in relation to the human experience? According to Montaigne, what is the goal of education? What is the main attribute of an educated person? For Montaigne, what are the lessons of history? How do they relate to the building of individual character? What does this suggest about the role/importance of education generally? Many schools talk about educating "the world child" as thought it were a radically new idea. What would Montaigne say to this?

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According to Michel de Montaigne in his essay "Of the Education of Children," "the greatest and most important difficulty of human science is the education of children," the act of passing on the previous generation's wisdom, mores, and practices to the next generation. Education and instruction are vital to human society. If we had no educators, countries would have no protection from other nations in the form of soldiers, from disease in the form of doctors, or from the abuses of the law. Knowledge must be passed down from tutor to pupil. But different persons have different natural attributes and educational inclinations. Education provides a way of identifying, for ourselves and others, these previously hidden personal inclinations as "in persons of mean and low condition, it cannot perform its true and genuine office, being naturally more prompt to assist in the conduct of war, in the government of peoples, in negotiating the leagues and friendships of princes and foreign nations," while others prefer "forming a syllogism in logic, in pleading a process in law, or in prescribing a dose of pills in physic."

Term Paper on Montaigne: Education Education: Of the Education of Assignment

In other words, for Montaigne purpose of education is to train the mind how to think and the body how to act. But the purpose of education is also to discover what one is best at, compared with the inclinations of other people in one's society. Education and enables the individually to feel personally fulfilled yet still perform an important function to his or her society, and to earn his or her bread. Education's stated goal may be to create a common thread of Knowledge amongst the citizens, and to prepare children from their designated life in society, but Montaigne also stresses that educators should strive for more -- they should strive to create a world of critically thinking and educated persons who can grapple with moral and ethical issues and dilemmas, as well as bear the diploma of passing through a particular school, and of passing certain standardized tests.

Over the course of a child's education children must develop their critical facilities as well as a grounding the basics of grammar, a knowledge about the facts of world history, and an understanding mathematical and scientific principles. "It is not enough to fortify his soul," when one is healing someone's body as a doctor. In other words, it is not enough to simply feed a child good food. The child needs to be tested, and must be tested in practice and exercise, so the food can result in a stronger constitution. Similarly, he thought process in students minds must generated through educating children in rote facts and practices, and then putting the student through thought exercises.

You," as a teacher, says Montaigne "are also to make his sinews strong; for the soul will be oppressed if not assisted by the members, and would have too hard a task to discharge two offices alone." In other words, without understanding how to use factual education, a good reading list is of little use. Education means something beyond the mere regurgitation of facts. The point, as Montaigne… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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