Welcome to Mason’s Methods of Science Instruction. We are glad you are here! This course is set up as 14 weeks of immersive instruction. As you work your way through this course ponder these quotes from Charlotte Mason and Elsie Kitching (Mason’s assistant):
Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value. (Volume 6, p. 224)
The crux of the situation is: how can an emanation so purely spiritual as an idea make an impression upon even the most delicate material substance? We do not know. We have some little demonstration that it is so in the fact of the score of reflex actions by which we visibly respond to an idea that ‘strikes’ us. The eye brightens, the pulse quickens, the colour rises, the whole person becomes vitalised, capable, strenuous, no longer weighed down by this clog of flesh. (Volume 3, p.70-71)
Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. ‘Thou hast set my feet in a large room,’ should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking––the strain would be too great––but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?
To discuss the method as if it were a system leads nowhere, for a system is cut and dried and the material upon which it is used must be made to fit; whereas a method is the result of principles, living organisms, which have powers of growth, expansion and adaptability.
(Elsie Kitching, The Parents’ Review March 1926 “Notes and Queries” p. 200)
As you complete this course over the next 14 weeks, we hope that you experience wonder and curiosity; we hope that you develop a relationship with science and nature; we hope that you build greater confidence as a Mason educator.