The Charlotte Mason Philosophy
SBA follows the learning theories and philosophy of Charlotte Mason (1842-1923), a godly British educator who invested her life in improving the quality of children’s education. We find her methods to be the best for children in the teaching and learning process.
Charlotte was orphaned at the age of sixteen, and soon after began her formal training as a teacher. During this time Charlotte began to develop her philosophy and vision for “a liberal education for all”. In the 1800’s, children were educated by social class with the poor being taught a trade. The fine arts and humanities were reserved for the upper class. Charlotte envisioned a generous and broad curriculum for all children regardless of class, race, or privilege.
Miss Mason also believed that parents would be greatly helped if they understood some basic principles about bringing up children. She did lectures to parents and eventually formed a Parents’ Education Union out of which schools were created that followed her educational philosophy and methods. She encouraged parents to have an active role in teaching and training their children in academics, fine arts, faith, citizenship, and habits of character.
In her later years she formed a training school for teachers and governesses. She wrote extensively with over 3000 pages of educational ideas. She outlined her methodology in a series of six scholarly books on education. Many of her works have been republished today by devoted followers of her teachings.
Her approach to education could be summed up in her Four Pillars of Education. She believed that “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life and a Science of Relations”. By ‘atmosphere’, Charlotte spoke of the learning environment in which our children grow up. She understood that the ideas that rule our lives, as parents, will have a profound impact on our children. “The child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which rule their own lives”. (Vol.2, p. 247) She believed that the school should emanate the best aspects of home life.
Miss Mason also emphasized that education is a discipline and she emphasized the importance of teaching children good habits that will serve the child well. She likened good habits to railroad tracks that parents lay down and upon which the child may travel with ease into his adult life. Good habits must play an important part in the education of children.
Charlotte was opposed to offering children dry facts and advocated living thoughts and ideas. If ‘education is a life’ then it must be filled with “living books” and opportunities for children to interact with the ideas.
All of learning must be established through “Relations” or connections to all other subjects, people and things and most importantly, God.
Our central goal at Silverdale Baptist Academy regarding an academic education is to instill in each student a love for learning that will last a lifetime. We do this by providing: