Jesse's Reviews > Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education

Poetic Knowledge by James S. Taylor
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's review
Dec 15, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: education
Read in December, 2009

I just finished this book today and was thoroughly impressed throughout. The author is clear and concise and he cites all the right people: Augustine, Benedict, Aquinas, and Newman. It is a great look at education and the poetic mode of learning and teaching. Something long forgotten even in Christian School circles, and perhaps even in Classical circles too.
The last two chapters are the best: he applies the principles from earlier in the book to a real school that was around in the 1970s. In the last chapter he applies poetic mode of knowledge to current schools and puts the challenge to educators to step up and think more thoroughly about how learning is something that is done through the whole person. Two quick points. First, the best school is one founded on friendship among the teachers. The mutual understanding of the Lord as the foundation in which there is all truth and the teachers' mutual enjoyment of discussing this profound mystery with each other is a force to be reckoned with in any school. Second, the teachers need to know that every little part of the school is training and teaching the student. Taylor talks about how the lighting and the heating in a room will train students about the world because they are experiencing it directly. This is something that their are learning through their senses which will translate to all sorts of other subjects. He also mentions how "Call of the Wild" is a great piece of literature which touches on Math, Science, History, and Theology. With just one book, he jumps to all of these subjects because they all add something to the experience of reading the book.

This is a must read for every teacher. Buy it, borrow it, beg for it, just get it.
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