Just because I’m in the mood to induce a bit of jealousy… I’m writing this from my hotel room overlooking the rose-red city of Petra, Jordan. As the evening sun slips behind the mountains and swirls of cumulus pink drift over ancient carved monoliths. Mind-blowing beauty. Everyone in the world should have the opportunity to see this wonder before they die. Every single person.
Oscar and I absolutely loved our week in Israel and are blessed to now spend a few days in her next-door neighbour before heading back to Tel Aviv and then onto London. In this time I thought I’d share over a few short posts some interesting articles/concepts that I’ve come across in my research of micro schooling thus far and which have made me consider my philosophy and approach to education.
1: ‘The Benedict Option’
I first heard about the Benedict Option through another Perth blogger, Pastor Stephen McAlpine, in this post of his.
Rod Dreher, who popularised the movement, writes in The American Conservative about Christians who are choosing to live in communities that ‘have at their ends a life of virtue.’ This community-based existence looks to the model set by Benedict, discussed by Cardinal Newman:
St Benedict found the world, physical and social, in ruins, and his mission was to restore it in the way not of science, but of nature, not as if setting about to do it [the caveat], not professing to do it by any set time, or by any rare specific, or by any series of strokes, but so quietly, patiently, gradually, that often till the work was done, it was not known to be doing. It was a restoration rather than a visitation, correction or conversion. The new work which he helped to create was a growth rather than a structure.
I am drawn to this philosophy which prioritises within a Christian community intellectual and moral integrity, evangelism through action (witnessing in living out the Christian life) and teaching Christian history (remembering our story). I imagine learning taking place while students participate in community life – serving others, being mentored by older Christians and ‘liv[ing] such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse [them] of doing wrong, they may see [their] good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.’ (1 Peter 2:12)
PS. Here’s a pic of Oscar and me in front of the Petra Treasury… because I’m still in awe that we have been so blessed to see it!