I mentioned some time ago that I had one more thing to share about Comenius, and this book, Education That Is Christian, is what I had in mind. Lois LeBar worked at Wheaton College for many years, and this book is one of her contributions to education, specifically as it concerns teaching the Bible.
One of the things that makes it interesting is that Ms. LeBar looks at the educational influence of Herbart (yes, that same Herbart) on the typical teaching in churches and Sunday Schools, and recommends instead practices based on the ideas of Comenius. It is quite interesting and remarkable to read another modern educator’s thoughts on these two older educators.
I have no idea if she ever heard of Charlotte Mason or not, but it is startling to read this in the Introduction and see the points of similarity:
Lois LeBar is a revolutionary. Forty years ago she rebelled against traditional Bible teaching that “starved people with Biblical facts.” …But she also rebelled against so-called progressive teaching that ignored the authoritative Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sounds like she and Charlotte Mason would have appreciated each other, doesn’t it? Especially as a good portion of the discussion in the book revolves around psychological considerations, such as inner and outer factors in learning.
Rousseau, Froebel, and Dewey get brief mentions, but this book is less a theoretical work of education than it is a practical one. If any of your teaching activities are conducted in the church community, you might find this book a very valuable read, and it is actually set up to be read and discussed within a group. Above all else, it brings a good deal of Bible wisdom to the task of teaching the Bible, and for that purpose, I do recommend it.
I was startled recently to run across a reference to Comenius in the tribute to Charlotte Mason published after her death, In Memoriam:
Like Comenius, she believed in a course of reading which is massive and many-sided. Like Comenius she had to guard against the dangers of superficiality.
Since I spent a good portion of the fall comparing Charlotte Mason and Comenius, it was interesting to me that even within her own lifetime, one of her colleagues drew a connection between them.