Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Book Club:  Imagination Method #8

Despite the two dimensional nature of this popular story-book character, Flat Stanley seems to be able to enjoy an adventurous and happy life.

He has lots of friends whom he visits via snail mail ;-)

Does this protaganist stimulate the imaginations of his readers or insulate them from the wonders of the world?

How does reading literature replete with personalities large and small contribute to the healthy development of the human mind?

That is the big question being answered by Professor Anthony Esolen in his ever insightful indictment of modern educational and parenting styles, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.

Albeit with books more high-brow than the Flat Stanley series.

Ten weeks into Cindy's Online Book Club discussion we readers are well-versed in Esolen's methodology of comparing and contrasting old-fashioned values with new-fangled ones, hoping to be encouraged by his vision.

Method #8 essay, Level Distinctions between Man and Woman or Spay and Geld, is no different.  Esolen quotes poetry (Milton and Frost), reminisces about his own childhood/schooling (catholic/parochial), and cites historical examples (Michaelangelo and guilds) to undergird his position for maintaining distinctions, especially between boys and girls.

In French, that would be vive la difference!

Paraphrased in English, I'd say that Esolen is in favor of discrimination.

Which is a good thing.

How does that translate into your schooling and everyday living?

Bonus Link:  Read my review of The Norton Book of Friendship


  1. Good question!
    Maybe it's not as complicated as we think - we just need to let our kids lead us in this rather than trying too hard to direct them. That is a real advantage of not having to deal with a family rather than a classroom. We can offer opportunities rather than agendas.

  2. Exactly, Debra. It's not as difficult as educators and civil servants want the public to believe.

    WE ARE CAPABLE of rearing our own children and governing our own lives.

    I'm surprised that Esolen doesnt have a chapter discussing mealtime.

    Surely a fine way to destroy a child's imagination is to make sure he never sits around the dinner table with his family and have conversations!