As mentioned previously, I teach homeschoolers in a modified “great books” program. Right now we are reading C.S. Lewis’s Abolition of Man. It is, in many ways, Lewis argues that contemporary (to him) eduational philosophy makes students adopt two basic assumptions: (1) that the predicates of value refer to internal feelings and not to actual objects and (2) that these emotional states are unimportant. Lewis places himself directly in line with classical ethical formulations and argues that predicates of value are not merely emotional states and that correct emotional responses are essential to being man. “The head rules the belly through the chest,” writes Lewis.
As a student, I was intrigued by the notion of “developing right sentiments” and worked diligently to do so. However, now that I am an educator, I see the challenge quite differently. The task of being a part of this formative process is both daunting and exciting. I am interested in thoughts as to how the modern educator should go about “irrigating deserts,” as I have none.