August 11, 2008

What Students Need (#49)

Fr. James Schall had the following to say about what qualities are necessary in a student in order to learn…

“...To be a student requires a certain modicum of humility.

Yet to be a student also requires a certain amount of faith in oneself, a certain self-insight that makes a person realize that he can learn something that seems unlearnable in the beginning. This trust in the teacher also implies that the student, if he has trouble understanding, makes this known to the teacher… A student does a teacher a favor by saying, "I do not understand this". But the student should first really try to understand before speaking. To quote Augustine again, students should ‘consider within themselves whether what has been explained has been said truly.’

The student ought to have the virtue of docility. He owes the teacher his capacity of being taught. We must allow ourselves to be taught. We can actually refuse this openness of our own free wills.” (Fr. James Schall, Another Sort of Learning)

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