User-Motivated Learning = “Curiosity”

Jim McGee’s blog bears the epigraph, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity” (Dorothy Parker). Yesterday he connected the dots of marketing, blogging, and curiosity; today I’m connecting those dots to (homeschool style) learning.

Margaret said:

Hold on! A word from Thomas seems necessary here (as always!): remember that curiosity can be a sin. Note the Summa II, II, 167. Curiosity for its own sake, knowledge for its own sake, or knowledge for our own creaturely sake–all these are highly problematic. Rather, seek the knowledge of truth, always keeping in mind that truth is of God and we can only access that knowledge of truth appropriate to creatures of God.

Of course, this gets us to that part of homeschooling that’s generally hardest for us to talk about in the general public. Since a particular brand of Christian identity, worship, imagination, and pedagogy has so far received the greatest publicity, it’s challenging to explain how our homeschooling is determined by our faith if we don’t do it “that” way. And, since we spend most of our time in (and of) a social class that defines itself in part by its disdain of “that” sort of people, most folks assume that our approach to education must be safely knowledge-based, rather than faith-based. Bracketing for the moment the category of “Christian homeschooling,” I would argue that most secular schooling dampens the curiosity of some and encourages curiosity for its own sake — and therefore hubris — in some others, rejecting in both cases human knowledge as a gift of God and as a means of (partial) participation in God. I like to think that in our efforts to homeschool, we have signified, formed, and witnessed with words and practice, so that all of our learning, all of our living, aims to be Soli Dei Gloria.


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