CMP Review 2023-07-25

CMP Review 2023-07-25

July 25, 2023

In 1917, the Times newspaper published a letter by Charlotte Mason in which she made four bold claims:

(a) That our people are capable of receiving a liberal education in a generous sense of the term.
(b) That no limitation of vocabulary or environment need be an obstacle.
(c) That the method and means of such an education give delight to the teachers, the children, and their parents, for, says Bacon, ‘Studies are for delight.’
(e) That such an education need cost no more than is spent at present.

The letter was republished in the Parents’ Review with the title “A Liberal Education for All.” From that time forward, this phrase became the slogan for Miss Mason and her movement.

But what did she mean by “a liberal education in a generous sense of the term”? What would this phrase have meant to readers in the early decades of the last century? What tradition, if any, was she evoking? And what implications does this have for how we teach our children today?

Listen to the fascinating story of a “liberal education” across the centuries, from Plato’s Republic to Florence’s fresco to Mason’s writings and beyond. You can find it here.