Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Spartans or Athenians?
In light of the classical roots of our Saint David's curriculum, I enjoyed reading this April 2010 article in Time Magazine about the teaching of empathy. The author, Maia Szalavitz, makes the point that empathy can and needs to be taught. She cites the ancient Greeks comparing the ways of Sparta with the ways of Athens when it came to child-rearing and education--Athens obviously, being the better choice. She argues that empathy starts with teaching young children to understand their own feelings and behaviors thereby giving them the tools to understand the feelings and behaviors of others. This resonates at Saint David's where we make reference to another classical ideal--one found etched in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi--"Know Thyself." We lean toward the Athenians.