Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On Teaching

I was reading Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism, to see if I could find anything about poetic knowledge, and found this bit about teaching and learning.

Let us add, in order to have the thought of Saint Thomas in its entirety, that in every discipline and in all teaching the master only assists from the outside the principle of immanent activity which is within the pupil. From this point of view, teaching relates to the great notion of ars cooperativa naturae. Whereas certain arts apply themselves to their matter in order to dominate it, and to impose on it a form which it has only to receive -- such as the art of a Michelangelo torturing marble like a tyrant -- others, because they have for matter nature itself, apply themselves to their matter in order to serve it, and to help it to attain a form or a perfection which can be acquired only through the activity of an interior principle; such are the arts which "cooperate with nature," as, for instance, medicine, with corporeal nature, or teaching (as also the art of directing souls), with spiritual nature. These arts operate only by furnishing the interior principle within the subject with the means and the assistance it avails itself of in order to produce its effect. It is the interior principle, the intellectual light present in the pupil, which is, in the acquisition of science and art, the principal cause or principal agent. -- Jacques Maritain, The Rules of Art

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!