Discussion 5: How to Teach History (Preview Content)
Wes Callihan and Christopher Perrin discuss Wes’s lecture on how to grow and develop as a student of history.
Outline of Session
- (00:00) Christopher: Could you describe how you learned how to be a student?
- (01:50) Wes: That came through reading. There were commonalities in the life circumstances of the various authors in history. A surprising number of them were monastics or associated with monasticism.
- (05:35) Christopher: Did you come across any particular biographies or writers that stimulated thinking in you?
- (08:50) Christopher: Is it appropriate for a teacher to prepare a zone of silence?
- (09:05) Wes: It is not only appropriate, it is absolutely essential. Start where you can.
- (13:20) Christopher: The way to grow in holiness is to start where you are and grow where you can.
- (16:20) Christopher: What would you say to a new teacher who thinks there is such a long list of books to read. How would I ever get through them all? The teacher is blessed with the luxury of time. The teacher has the time hanging around great books, talking about great books.
- (18:20) Wes: The point is not to get through the list of the books. The point is to be proceeding through them. You are doing this as soon as you begin.
- (22:15) Christopher: Could you comment on how even reading one great book can be so helpful to getting you into the larger life?
- (23:45) Wes: As you move through the centuries and across the disciplines, they are going across the same ground over and over again.
- (28:20) Christopher: Sometimes we think reading Plato must be difficult. Lewis says that often the great books are accessible and they are profound in their elegance and simplicity. Reading the commentators can be tangled. Have you found this to be true?
- (31:35) Christopher: How can we help new teachers and new students to be caught up with the beginning of an intellectual life? How does that happen?
- (31:55) Wes: One way that happens is to see that the teacher is moved by something outside of themselves. We are made this way.
- (35:55) Wes: To sneer at the old books because they are weird and different is exactly the same as doing that to another human being. Teach the students to treat with charity another time just as we would do with another person.