Summary Of Montaigne

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On Paradigms of Teaching and Learning: Montaigne and Three Theories of Education Montaigne’s own unorthodox childhood education played a role in shaping the way he thought about learning and about life. He spent his infancy in the countryside, his childhood immersed in Latin, and his adolescence in classes with older students at the Collège de Guyenne. Because of his father’s nontraditional ideas about education, as Bakewell states, Montaigne “grew up to be an independent-minded adult, following his own path in everything rather than deferring to duty and discipline” (55). He was a man who thought differently about the world around him and was comfortable with and successful in writing not only about something different, himself, but in…show more content…
The idea of being well educated meant you were able to recite the knowledge of the ancients in writing and conversation. Montaigne was familiar with this method of learning and experienced this pedagogy during his more structured educational years at the Collège de Guyenne. His exposure to this model is evident because of the time period in which he attended institutions of learning, and is also suggested by his own extensive reading of classical texts and the smattering of quotes from those like Plato and Aristotle throughout The Essays, yet Montaigne claims that this concept of knowledge is of little use. He contends that students of this method “are not nourished and fed by what they learn: the learning is passed from hand to hand with only one end in view: to show it off […] having no other use or currency” (154). In short, students are not actually learning anything under this paradigm. The excessive amounts of trivial knowledge one might learn from this method makes for a good party trick but proves nothing other than your ability to memorize facts. Montaigne believes that knowledge is not something acquired by passing facts from one person to another, so this pedagogical approach would not fit him as an instructor. As modeled by his personal principles, in order to be nourished and satisfied in our education and actually acquire knowledge we need to question…show more content…
He would teach students how to ask questions, ones like how to live? which cannot be answered simply, if at all. Curriculum would be developed around a central guiding question and students would draw from things they have seen and read and discovered along the way and work to answer those questions. Montaigne would expect his students to struggle with material and work to create meaning and relevance to the inquiry at hand, perhaps nudging them in the right direction when needed. Above all, he would advocate for students to take ownership of their thinking and questioning, because those skills are far more valuable outside of the classroom and will benefit them for the rest of their

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