In Persuit of the ‘Way of Light’

In class we have talked a lot about the ideal of the formation of the child/student that education was holistic and began in the earliest days of childhood, and continued throughout life. He had a view that knowledge contained philosophy, theology and education and in turn that all of these should be taught to students. He believed that learning, spiritual, and emotional growths were all woven together. What Comenius referred to as the Via Lucis, or ‘way of light,’ was the pursuit of higher learning and spiritual enlightenment bound together. I definitely resonate with these thoughts of education, for it is much more then facts or skills but underlying all of it, to be successful, there needs to be a morality of learning. That the student not only finds the knowledge of how one will live but how one lives well in contributing to the world. This comes down to Comenius’ metaphor of the garden, the artificial shaping of the child. Now one might grimace thinking that we artificially shape a child, but in what way does this differ from a good parent shaping their children through love and compassion. I believe it is essential for teachers to not only imbue their students with knowledge but that we also foster the building of the student’s moral self. That through our teaching, our environment and our care we can help form a beautiful garden or bring about a drought in a student’s life an create a desert.

It is important to strive for creating meaningful relationships with your students and to build a safe learning environment for children to succeed. Not only in their academics but giving them the social tools to be Good stewards in society. To show that it is important to love and care for others and to understand their stories and where they come from. Not to facilitate a world where it is safer to look on all as strangers, to be ignorant of those struggling around us, but to show that it is important for us to help those that struggle and need it. And not to put too much pressure on us future educators, but we will be one of the strongest voices in this department. How we help our students and how we see them in the classroom will deeply affect how students will view others outside the class. So let’s shape our students garden and make it a delightful one, one where every student has a voice, every problem is met with love and compassion and where relationships are a primary concern.

– Chris

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