Though Montaigne's thoughts on education may be contentious to the world today, he understood the process of learning so well, that his ideas may be applied to instructional theory of this day.
One of the first things Montaigne mentioned is to teach with understanding and tenderness. Montaigne said that “education ought to be conducted with a gentle severity”2, and that instead of children being invited to study, they are being “confronted with terror and cruelty.”3 The goal of a teacher is to educate the children, but they renounce that goal when they use the fear of punishment to get them to study harder. Cicero even mentioned in his dialogue that “the authority of those who profess to teach is often a positive hindrance to those who desire to learn”4 Fear is not to be used when educating a child and can have a paralyzing affect on the mind. A chil...
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...It is essential that we know what and how to teach to each generation. Education is so critical because it ensures that we will be able to preserve the knowledge that has been stored up since the beginning of mankind. Montaigne's essay Of the Education of Children is beneficial in comprehending how to complete the task of education our youth with gentility, joy, and character.
1. Wikimedia Foundation. "Michel de Montaigne." Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_de_Montaigne (accessed December 19, 2013).
2. de Montaigne, Michel. "Of the Education of Children." In Essays of Michel de Montaigne. New York: D. Appleton and company, 1899. 271-325.
3. Cicero, Marcus Tullius, and Arthur Stanley Pease. De natura deorum;. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955.
4. Cicero, Marcus Tullius, and H. Rackham. De Natura Deorum. London: W. Heinemann, 1933.
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