Returning to the Quad – What Science Ed Really Needs

I love it when disparate readings coalesce into something beautiful. I was just reading yesterday in James Taylor’s Poetic Knowledge and then today saw this article in the NY Times. Taylor believes that to return to true scientific knowledge we will profit by “playing” with the attendant natural principles that a child learns, for instance, by working the lever of a see-saw. Meanwhile, the Times wants to see us throw money after bells and whistles in the science lab. If we just had more lab experience, we would have more scientists. The two readings come together at the level of poetic knowledge, but the Times is quite sure that all this will just happen, while Taylor and most of history is convinced that it “happens” by purpose.

At the heart of these thoughts for me is the need to continue to recover the Mathematical Arts of the Quadrivium. I know a bunch of us are already pushing each other on this idea, but I don’t want anything to subvert the conversation. We must be able to live fully in this world given to us by God to dwell in and to be stewards of. That means we must recover and develop the skills both of the word (Trivium) and the number (Quad) so that we can deal with all aspects of life on this planet. What are others reading in this regard? I will put my thoughts out there as they are brought to the light of day.

Perhaps the money being spent on minor explosions in school labs would be better invested in reprinting some of the older unattainable works that delineate the use of the Quad for our schools?


One thought on “Returning to the Quad – What Science Ed Really Needs”

  1. I’m actually reading Taylor’s book also right now. I think his view seems to be that recovery of education begins with recovery of teachers. In the context of poetic knowledge, I think that would entail some significant changes in the lives of teachers. “Getting back to nature” may not be the answer, though, because we can’t really make up for lost time in our own educations. I suspect something crucial along the way will be a personal reorganization of life, not just in our habits and circumstances, but also in the way that we view the world. I say this because the kind of poetic knowledge Taylor is talking about may just as easily be missed by one who has ruled it out of his world view.–>

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