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Mind and Body

February 25, 2010

How does a teacher, outside of the home, effectively and appropriately assess character?  The question rises when an educator attempts to factor a student’s behaviour along with the student’s learning in any given course.  It is not merely a question of whether a teacher can separate the two, but should they separate student learning (typically associated with the mind) from student behavior (associated with character).

When behavior is viewed as something separate than learning the educator dishonors the student and makes learning in the classroom all the more difficult. 

Practically, I think, the division communicates the notion that student behavior is important enough to be assessed, but that the student’s learning is what really matters and it should no be confused with lesser matters.  The mind is elevated above, even separated from, the body.  A student’s worth is chiefly associated with a final test score and the result is a valued mind, but a fragmented person. 

Such an atmosphere will lead some students to behave anyway they like so long as they “keep their grades up.”  Undisciplined moral behavior in the classroom creates chaos and disorder that prohibits any sound and fruitful environment for learning.  Every other student in the class is dishonored when one takes the liberty to behave as he or she wishes.

Education disciplines the moral faculties–all of them–toward perfect union in order to cultivate the well-formed soul.  Virtue is the application of wisdom.  I do not see how you can separate the two.


From → Education

  1. Amen, and amen.

  2. trholler permalink

    Hey, Buck! I have a new blog address. It’s:

  3. I see that you have come over to the wordpress side. I will update my link and check it out.

    By the way, I met John Hodges this summer at the CiRCE conference and introduced myself. He asked how you were doing. He was a very insightful man.

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