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Ralph Waldo Emerson 's: Education Analysis

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eden lakner

on 1 November 2015

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Transcript of Ralph Waldo Emerson 's: Education Analysis

Ralph Waldo Emerson 's:
Education
Analysis

Chunk 1
But this function of opening and feeding the human is not to be fulfilled by any mechanical or military method; is not to be trusted to any skill less large than Nature itself. You must not neglect the form, but you must secure the essentials. It is curious how perserve and intermeddling we are, and what vast pains and cost we incur to do wrong.
Element & Effect
Chunk 2
Whilst we all know in our own experience and apply natural methods in our own business -- in education our common sense fails us, and we are continually trying costly machinery against nature, in patent schools and academies and in great colleges and universities.
Metaphor
"Opening and feeding the human mind."
Element & Effect
Chunk 3
The natural method forever confutes our experiments, and we must still come back to it. The whole theory of the school is on the nurse's or mother's knee. The child is as hot to learn as the mother is to impart.
Summary of Text
Summary of Text
Summary of Text
Element & Effect
The author states that spoonfeeding the mind is not the way to go, it's not the way to learn. You have to let the child learn through his mistakes, through trial and error. We have to make mistakes to learn and move forward.
Overall Message
The author's overall message is that there is truly only one way to learn, the natural method. He says that spoonfeeding the brain and trying to drill facts in does not work as well as the natural method. No matter how hard we try, we always come back to the natural method, trial and error. When we learn something, we want to share it so others can experience and it for themselves.
In the real world we perform using the trial and error method. In education, we stick to certain processes to try and drill information into the brains of our children.
The method of trial and error is always something we use. We always end up coming back to it.
Chunk 4
There is mutual delight.  The joy of our childhood in hearing beautiful stories from some skillful aunt who loves to tell them, must be repeated in youth. The boy wishes to learn to skate; to coast, to catch a fish in the brook, to hit a mark with a snowball or a stone; and a boy a little older is just as well pleased to teach him these sciences. Not less delightful is the mutual pleasure of teaching and learning the secret of algebra, or of chemistry, or of good reading and good recitation of poetry or of prose, or of chosen facts in history or in biography.
Summary of Text
During childhood we are told those stories about adventures that are so intriguing that we have to try them ourselves. Which goes back to the natural method of learning-learning from our own experiences. The more we learn and the more experiences we make, we want teach what we learn to others.
Element & Effect
Emerson uses real world examples in this section to establish a connection with the audience.
The joy of our childhood is hearing beautiful stories from some skillful aunt who loves to tell them, must be repeated in youth.
Analogy
"Child is as hot to learn as the mother is to impart."
The effect of this is to explain how easy it is for a child to learn. Hot to learn meaning, he's a quick and wants to learn. Mother is to impart meaning, she's quick to share because of maternal instincts.
Analogy
"Apply natural methods in our own business-in education our common sense fails us, and we are continually trying costly machinery against nature.. in great colleges and universities.

This analogy demonstrates the relationship between how we learn in the real world versus how we are taught in school. We use the natural method in business but in school we are persistent with the unnatural methods.
He used this metaphor to demonstrate the spoonfeeding method of teaching that people use.
Full transcript