Philosophy Isn't Curriculum, Curriculum Isn't Philosophy

When it comes to the discussion of curriculum in the homeschooling world, particularly the Charlotte Mason corner of it, there are often two cognitively dissonant ideas attempting to work in tandem. ⁣

The first is: ⁣
“Your curriculum isn’t your philosophy; read Mason’s work for yourself.” ⁣

The second is: ⁣
“Some curriculum labels itself as ‘Charlotte Mason’ inspired but really isn’t rooted in her principles.” ⁣

Now, used in their proper form and context, I would endorse each of these statements and would also say that they are not opposing ideas. ⁣

So, what makes them so dissonant and problematic? ⁣

1️⃣ What is so often being implied in the first statement is that no curriculum itself is one’s educational philosophy but that if you read Mason’s work that HER philosophy can be your own. Which, isn’t possible because philosophy must be personally crafted. (See previous posts) ⁣

2️⃣ When coupled with that underlying implication of the first statement, the second one is meant to direct you right back to the curriculum that “isn’t your philosophy” but that (obviously) is the only correct interpretation of said philosophy. ⁣

(Side Note: This is a tactic utilized in every successful cult- take that for what you will.) ⁣

3️⃣ When used in the way that they often are, both statements display a gross and fundamental misunderstanding of Philosophy, Principles, Practices, and Methods. (I have a post and a workshop covering the difference.) ⁣

It is true that curriculum isn’t Philosophy.⁣

What is also true is that your Philosophy isn’t your curriculum. ⁣

This means that your curriculum choices are *informed* by your Philosophy but are not *dictated* or even *limited* by it. ⁣

Curriculum and resources often help you articulate and crystallize your philosophy and are always a framework and a set of tools for implementing practices and methods that carry out your philosophy. ⁣

Many tools not inspired by CM at all make better tools for implementing philosophies that are than many resources that claim her name. ⁣

When you truly understand philosophy, and have crafted your own, you can use (nearly) any curriculum or tool in a way that fits within it.

No comments:

Post a Comment