At this point, any tendency to express himself Dorothy sayers essay on classical education or to use his eloquence so as to make the worse appear the better reason would, no doubt, be restrained by his previous teaching in Dialectic.
These young children love learning things by heart. We cannot go back—or can we? Up to a certain point, and provided that the criticisms are made with a reasonable modesty, these activities are commendable. Generally speaking, the answer is: Enter Dorothy Sayers into the scene.
So far except, of course, for the Latinour curriculum contains nothing that departs very far from common practice. A Biography,  James Brabazon argues that she was. Or have you ever pondered upon the extremely high incidence of irrelevant matter which crops up at committee meetings, and upon the very great rarity of persons capable of acting as chairmen of committees?
A set of dates to which one can peg all later historical knowledge is of enormous help later on in establishing the perspective of history. Before Dorothy sayers essay on classical education dismiss me with the appropriate phrase—reactionary, romantic, mediaevalist, laudator temporis acti, or whatever tag comes first to hand—I will ask you to consider one or two miscellaneous questions that hang about at the back, perhaps, of all our minds, and occasionally pop out to worry us.
They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects.
Encourage them to evolve over time to reading from Plato and Charles Dickens. Sayers by John Doubleday. Yet there is elsewhere full recognition of the distressing fact that a man may be master in one field and show no better judgement than his neighbor anywhere else; he remembers what he has learnt, but forgets altogether how he learned it.
Sayers also wrote three volumes of commentaries about Dante, religious essays, and several playsof which The Man Born to be King may be the best known. Still, it is as well to have this matter also handy and ready for the reason to work upon.
One has only to look at any school or examination syllabus to see that it is cluttered up with a great variety of exhausting subjects which they are called upon to teach, and the teaching of which sadly interferes with what every thoughtful mind will allow to be their proper duties, such as distributing milk, supervising meals, taking cloak-room duty, weighing and measuring pupils, keeping their eyes open for incipient mumps, measles and chicken-pox, making out lists, escorting parties round the Victoria and Albert Museum, filling up forms, interviewing parents, and devising end-of-term reports which shall combine a deep veneration for truth with a tender respect for the feelings of all concerned.
These young children memorize capitols, rivers, mountains, collections of facts such as plants, animals, and planets. I shall add it to the curriculum, because theology is the mistress-science without which the whole educational structure will necessarily lack its final synthesis.
This approach makes it possible for the students to not only remember what they have learned, but just as important, they know how to learn independently and are equipped to read and write for a lifetime.
For the sole true end of education is simply this: Let us begin, then, with Grammar. At the grammatical age, therefore, we should become acquainted with the story of God and Man in outline--i. The final synthesis of the Trivium--the presentation and public defense of the thesis--should be restored in some form; perhaps as a kind of "leaving examination" during the last term at school.
The stock argument in favour of postponing the school leaving- age and prolonging the period of education generally is that there is now so much more to learn than there was in the Middle Ages.
The teachers, to be sure, will have to mind their step, or they may get more than they bargained for.
Here is a sentence from no less academic a source than a front- page article in the Times Literary Supplement:Classical education has its roots in the classical era of Greek and Rome.
Dorothy Sayers recommends post-classical and medieval Latin rather than classical Latin. During the grammar stage children memorize verse and prose. We fill their memories with stories, They write essays and critics.
They learn algebra, geometry, and advanced. Again we see that while Sayers’ essay seems to imply that grammar was for little children, dialectic for preteens, and rhetoric for teens and older, the case of actual classical education was quite different–a “solid foundation” for all seven liberal arts, as well as many of the sciences, was to be given to preteens and teens.
Sayers’ claims are worth evaluating, and her proposed educational model has several identifiable benefits.
A return to classical education would give students a greater ability to learn, an enhanced defense against fallacies and propaganda, and more proficiency in persuasive argument. An Essay on Classical Education that You Must Read InDorothy Sayers stepped up to a podium at Oxford University and gave a piercing critique of our modern educational system.
She bemoaned the industrial complex that had turned education into a factory, teaching children in repetitive ways. In this essay, Miss Sayers suggests that we presently teach our children everything but how to learn.
She proposes that we adopt a suitably modified version of the medieval scholastic curriculum for methodological reasons. "The Lost Tools of Learning" was first presented by Miss Sayers at Oxford in By Dorothy Sayers That I, whose experience of teaching is extremely limited, and whose life of recent years has been almost wholly out of touch with educational circles, should presume to discuss education is a matter, surely, that calls for no apology.
It is a kind of behaviour to which the present climate of opinion is wholly favourable.Download