Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 2)

In the second chapter, Bekah Merkle uses the analogy of a puzzle. A student is given a large puzzle with lots of pieces and told to put it together. Students at C&C schools and typical government schools are given the same pieces but only the C&C students are given the box with the picture on it as well. C&C students have a grid, or worldview, in which to understand all the facts … to determine which to reject and which to keep and where to put the pieces you keep. Without the box, the puzzle is an almost impossible challenge as you’re left with lots of disconnected pieces and no picture of the finished product to guide you.

In the third chapter, she switches the analogy to a map and then uses an athletic analogy to hammer home her point. Here are some excerpts from Chapter 3:

First of all, we all hope that, at the end of this educational process, you will be able to think clearly. Presumably, you wish that too. Thinking clearly seems obvious enough, but you would be amazed at how atypical a skill it actually is. The ability to work through an issue clearly, logically, and precisely is an exceptionally rare gift that you are being given.

Something similar goes on in sports. but for some reason it’s much easier for people to see the principle there than the classroom. Everyone recognizes that when a coach makes his basketball team run suicides or do box jumps, he is training them for something else. When he makes the team do shooting drills, it is so that once they are in a game, they will possess the necessary skills needed to win the game. No one thinks that the dribbling skills are the end goal of the basketball season, or that you need to do box jumps because sometimes in the middle of the game, there is a box-jumping competition you’ll have to win. Practices are all about deconstructing the necessary skills for a basketball game, isolating them, and then working on them individually … but always with a larger goal in mind.

Each basketball game is different than from the last one you played. That’s true even if you’re playing against the same team. Every time you dribble down the court, you are faced with a unique set of challenges. You have never seen this exact situation before, but the skills your coach spent all that time drilling into you turn out to have been useful after all, which you will appreciate when you find yourself able to instinctively drive past the other team’s defense for a layup.

For some reason, people don’t realize that the same thing is true in the classroom. The facts you are being taught are not the end goal of learning any more than the wall sit is the end goal of basketball. You are spending your days in the classroom doing drills in much the same way that you do in basketball practice. They are all designed to equip you, to strengthen you, to make you into a person who can step out of the classroom and into the world and successfully negotiate situations you have never encountered before.”

Leave a Reply