Notes on Vol. 6 Ch. 4: Authority and Docility, part 1

Last month on Discussion Night, we covered chapter 4 of Charlotte Mason’s Toward a Philosophy of Education. There are my (rather raw) notes that I took as I read before the discussion that night.

We have God-given delegated authority over ourselves and a few people under us, and this is fine as long as no one abuses that authority.

We also all have the ability to be teachable (docility); to bow by choice to someone else, to submit to their authority. “‘Go as you please’ must be the apparent rule of their lives, while, ‘Do as you are bid’ is the moving force” (70).

We are all under obligation to others, and children must learn this early. There are something that must be done for the good of society. Children must learn to do quickly and happily what their authority ask of them, but “Docility implies equality; there is no great gulf fixed between teacher and taught; both are pursuing the same ends, engaged on the same theme, enriched by mutual interests, and probably the quite delightful pursuit of knowledge affords the only intrinsic liberty for both teacher and taught” (71).


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