"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."
Friday, May 23, 2008
This is one of the 7 Keys to a Leadership Education. It is imperative to expose children (and yourself) to classics. By the way, that does not just mean books. It can include art, movies, drama/theatre, music. A classic is something that touches our soul and we must be willing and wanting to encounter it more than once. The classics leave us wanting for more, feeling more than when we started it. They form our souls and teach us important life lessons. All leaders need this exposure.
Textbooks are snapshots of information, giving the learner "what or when to think" on the subject. A classic must be reflected upon and discussed. The classics put us in touch with the past, but even more importantly in touch with ourselves.
What classics are you reading, watching, listening to or admiring? Remember, it doesn't have to be a classic to anyone else but you.
Translation from yesterday:
And finally, one must consider how great the ease of learning
there is in books, how yielding, how trusty !
How safely we reveal, without shyness, in the face of our books
the poverty of our human ignorance !
They are teachers who instruct us without switches or rods,
without slaps or anger, without notice of rags or riches.
If you approach them , they are not asleep;
If you ask a question, they do not hide;
They do not mutter at you if you make a mistake;
When you are ignorant, they do not know how to laugh at you.
Today's Latin phrase:
Homo unius libri timeo. - St. Thomas Aquinas
Thursday, May 22, 2008
"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals. Accordingly, applications are sought from talented students without restriction as to their field of academic specialization or career plans although the proposed course of study must be available at Oxford, and the applicant's undergraduate program must provide a sufficient basis for further study in the proposed field. Through the years, Rhodes Scholars have pursued studies in all of the varied fields available at the University of Oxford."
You see, I am working on pursuing a world-class leadership education for myself so that I may mentor my children in the same pursuit. I chose the name of this blog because the term "Rhodes Scholar" is thrown around much, but many don't understand the connotation. (See red text above.) I also wouldn't mind a two year scholar ship to Oxford University, but I think my family would miss me.
Do you have a leadership education? I'm curious because my perception education in America today is that we teach people what to think and when to think, but not how to think. An excellent example of this would be what public schools around the country are doing to meet the education standards. They are teaching children what to think (answers for standardized tests) and when to think (during the testing).
I make the following assertions:
1) Teaching for a test does not education the person.
2) Teachers are so scared to lose their jobs, they teach to the test.
3) Kids lose their love of learning because they are forced to learn material for which they see no value. Sorry folks, but the tests don't matter much to the kids.
4) You can't educate anyone that isn't motivated to learn. Remember cramming for tests in high school and college? Do you remember the material? No, probably not. Why did you learn it? To pass the test. Why did you have to cram? Because you probably weren't terrible motivated to learn it in the first place. You weren't inspired to learn it and you didn't see the value (other than passing the test).
5) When kids love to learn, they will remember what they learn. When they study things that interest them, they will remember them. My mom is a good example of this. She loved a poem called "The Wind" by Robert Louis Stevenson. She memorized it in elementary school and, to this day, still remembers it BECAUSE SHE LOVED IT. Mom would be the first to tell you she doesn't feel she received a great education. Mom's smart, but would tell you she doesn't feel well educated. She reads. She can figure just about anything out if you give her time. She's clever. I would also tell you that my kids can remember stuff that while it doesn't seem important to us, it is to them and that's why they remember it.
So, with all those assertions in place, it's my job to educate myself because no one else can give me the education I want. I will choose my mentors carefully. I will endeavor to inspire my kids to learn the important things along the way.
Join me on this journey. I'll be reviewing books, discussing interesting classics along the way and discussing how the Thomas Jefferson Education model has changed my life.
Postremo pensandum Quanta doctrinae commoditas sit in libris Quam facilis, quam arcana! Quam tuto libris humanae ignorantia paupertatem sine verecundia denudamus! Hi sunt magistri qui nos instruunt sine virgis et ferula, sine verbis et cholera, sine pannis et pecunia. si accedis, non dormiunt; Si inquirens interrogas, non abscondunt; Non remurmurant si oberres; Cachinnos nesciunt, si ignores. (Richard de BuryPhilobiblon, I, 9)
Come back tomorrow for a translation!