Thursday, August 18, 2016


From Perennial Childhood: Remarks on the Discipline of Praise
In 2006, Bernhard Bueb, then headmaster of an elite private school near Lake Constance in Southern Germany, published a thin volume that instantly became a bestseller throughout the German-speaking world. Lob der Disziplin [In Praise of Discipline], which would earn Bueb the not entirely flattering title of “Germany’s strictest teacher,” issued a ringing call for a revival of the old-fashioned and, in the author’s view, unjustly neglected virtue of classroom discipline....
Bueb’s inverted sense of discipline called, then, for an “inversion” of its own. Hence the title of our book, which turns his “praise of discipline” on its head and speaks of a Disziplin des Lobens, a “discipline of praise,” instead. This title reflects our conviction that to “praise” the object of study—to love, approve, and affirm its goodness—is to receive from it the kind of discipline its nature demands. ....As the foregoing suggests, the pedagogical act is founded upon a common “loving inclination to the real.” Put another way, the joy of (and between) teacher and student presupposes a shared affection inclining both towards an intrinsically lovable, and jointly beloved, “Third”: the subject-matter that forms their specific “condilectum,” as Richard of Saint Victor might have put it.
read more here

The idea is that student, teacher and subject matter together form what you might call by analogy a kind of trinity, at least a "Three".    When one of the sides of the triangle is missing you end up with a breakdown in education.

I like the idea of "Discipline of Praise."  It seems very Pieper-ish.

"Condilectum" means something like delighting-together and does indeed evoke the Trinity.   It seeks to fill out the spare but wonderful Nicene formula of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son.

Yesterday I finished the Silvretta shawl, and also found the Nymphiladea, so now I'm working on finishing that one.  

PG was motivated on his first day of formal school and charged through a multiplicity of subjects.
We had the care of ARA while her parents traveled to the birthing center, and with her we went on a walk (ST came with us and talked about politics) and sorted colors (something she is extremely interested in these days) and washed dishes (she loves this and can spend many minutes standing on a chair with a few containers, some soap and a stream of water).

Today is going to be yard work and hymn practice at the church.   The bishop is rumored to be coming up for this week's mass.   I am so not ready for that.

To finish, another quote from the article.   I like this one because this economic distortion seems to go beyond education and affect everything particularly politics.   The emphasis is mine.

the “economic rationalization” of education, which prolongs the first two tendencies by bending both the subject-matter and the student-teacher relation to serve the same purely external objective or target: a numinous economic profit that, lying entirely in an endlessly deferred future, is incapable of filling the present moment with any real substance—and thus “futurizes” the saturated kairos of education to the detriment of the inner principle characterizing the genuine act of learning......   “economic rationalization,” “thanks” to its reductively monetary model of “oikonomia,” eventually fails to be properly economical at all. This last point bears stressing: Paul, writing to the Ephesians, understands the “economy” precisely as a present fullness, as the fulfillment offered here and now in a privileged kairos (eis oikonomian tou plêrômatos tôn kairôn: Eph 1:10).

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