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This book rediscovers a traditional mode of knowledge that remains viable today. Contrasted to the academic and cultural fads often based on the scientific methodology of the Cartesian legacy, or any number of trendy experiments in education, Poetic Knowledge returns to the freshness and importance of first knowledge, a knowledge of the senses and the passions. "Poetic know This book rediscovers a traditional mode of knowledge that remains viable today. Contrasted to the academic and cultural fads often based on the scientific methodology of the Cartesian legacy, or any number of trendy experiments in education, Poetic Knowledge returns to the freshness and importance of first knowledge, a knowledge of the senses and the passions. "Poetic knowledge" is not the knowledge of poetry, nor is it even knowledge in the sense that we often think of today, that is, the mastery of scientific, technological, or business information. Rather, it is an intuitive, obscure, mysterious way of knowing reality, not always able to account for itself, but absolutely essential if one is ever to advance properly to the higher degrees of certainty. From Socrates to the Middle Ages, and even into the twentieth century, the case for poetic knowledge is revealed with the care of philosophical archeology. Taylor demonstrates the effectiveness of the poetic mode of education through his own observations as a teacher, and two experimental "poetic" schools in the twentieth century.


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This book rediscovers a traditional mode of knowledge that remains viable today. Contrasted to the academic and cultural fads often based on the scientific methodology of the Cartesian legacy, or any number of trendy experiments in education, Poetic Knowledge returns to the freshness and importance of first knowledge, a knowledge of the senses and the passions. "Poetic know This book rediscovers a traditional mode of knowledge that remains viable today. Contrasted to the academic and cultural fads often based on the scientific methodology of the Cartesian legacy, or any number of trendy experiments in education, Poetic Knowledge returns to the freshness and importance of first knowledge, a knowledge of the senses and the passions. "Poetic knowledge" is not the knowledge of poetry, nor is it even knowledge in the sense that we often think of today, that is, the mastery of scientific, technological, or business information. Rather, it is an intuitive, obscure, mysterious way of knowing reality, not always able to account for itself, but absolutely essential if one is ever to advance properly to the higher degrees of certainty. From Socrates to the Middle Ages, and even into the twentieth century, the case for poetic knowledge is revealed with the care of philosophical archeology. Taylor demonstrates the effectiveness of the poetic mode of education through his own observations as a teacher, and two experimental "poetic" schools in the twentieth century.

30 review for Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    M.G. Bianco

    Let me describe first what this book is about. The title can be distracting if we aren't used to certain philosophical terms. This is not a book about poetry, although it is. It is not about knowledge, although it is. Poetic knowledge describes a certain kind of knowledge distinct from scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is what we are most familiar with: an analytical study of a subject, a rational knowledge about a subject. It is knowing a horse because you've memorized information and Let me describe first what this book is about. The title can be distracting if we aren't used to certain philosophical terms. This is not a book about poetry, although it is. It is not about knowledge, although it is. Poetic knowledge describes a certain kind of knowledge distinct from scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is what we are most familiar with: an analytical study of a subject, a rational knowledge about a subject. It is knowing a horse because you've memorized information and facts about it. Poetic knowledge is much different. It is the knowledge you have of a thing vicariously, sympathetically, through experience, relation, and love. It is knowing a horse because you've lived among them, having experienced horses and their lives and can love and sympathize with them. Poetic knowledge is a passive learning, that you receive through the senses and understand with the emotions, memory, and imagination. But these emotions (namely, wonder) "is no sugary sentimentality, but, rather, a mighty passion, a species of fear, an awful confrontation of the mystery of things," as Taylor quotes on page 159. Fear, of course, and especially the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. In this book, James Taylor takes us through the history of poetic knowledge from the Greeks with Homer through Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and on to Christian thinkers with Augustine, Aquinas, Maritain. He walks through a validation of poetic knowledge as a means of knowing and educating, to its historical roots, to a deeper understanding of what it is. Then, he changes gears and walks us through the legacy of Descartes and the destructive forces he and Dewey brought upon poetic learning in education. After a discussion of its demise, he reintroduces the reader to men who have practiced and implemented poetic learning in schools after Descartes and Dewey. Specifically, he takes us to a short-lived school in France in the 20th Century and another short-lived program at the University of Kansas, also in the 20th Century. He concludes with ideas on how to recover poetic education today and some images and descriptions of what it might look like in a school today. I must admit this book has had a huge impact on me. I am thoroughly persuaded by Taylor's presentation and arguments. I also find that I am wanting to read more along these lines. This book is the cause of my reading Josef Pieper's Leisure: The Basis of Culture, and is now the reason I am turning to Dicken's Hard Times. It is also the reason I will be buying poetry collections of Wordsworth. If you are involved in education in any way, this book is a must read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    “...there can be no real advancement in knowledge unless it first begin in leisure and wonder, where the controlling motive throughout remains to be delight and love.” Not good grades or colleges, or prestige, or a well-paying job, but love. So many connections to Charlotte Mason, especially her three tools of atmosphere, discipline, and life; and also to other books I’ve read like Pieper’s Leisure the Basis of Culture (which he quotes) and Lewis’ The Four Loves (Taylor discusses teaching and fri “...there can be no real advancement in knowledge unless it first begin in leisure and wonder, where the controlling motive throughout remains to be delight and love.” Not good grades or colleges, or prestige, or a well-paying job, but love. So many connections to Charlotte Mason, especially her three tools of atmosphere, discipline, and life; and also to other books I’ve read like Pieper’s Leisure the Basis of Culture (which he quotes) and Lewis’ The Four Loves (Taylor discusses teaching and friendship). Now I’m thinking through how we are seeking poetic knowledge already in our homeschool, and how we can do that better.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    My husband and I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Taylor and take him to dinner several years ago (1998 or 1999) when he was in Denver for a Catholic homeschooling conference. We had a marvelous evening and learned so much from this man, who attended the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas which was a hotbed for Catholic conversions and making monks (dozens at Clear Creek Monastery in Oklahoma and the Abbey of Fontgombault in France), priests (Fr. James Jackson, FSSP) and bi My husband and I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Taylor and take him to dinner several years ago (1998 or 1999) when he was in Denver for a Catholic homeschooling conference. We had a marvelous evening and learned so much from this man, who attended the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas which was a hotbed for Catholic conversions and making monks (dozens at Clear Creek Monastery in Oklahoma and the Abbey of Fontgombault in France), priests (Fr. James Jackson, FSSP) and bishops (e.g. Bishops Conley of Denver and Coakley of Salina, KS). Dr. Taylor discusses the ideas of "poetic knowledge" as things we know with the core of our being, as opposed to things we learn by rote. For example, we know the smell in the air after a rain, or after the lawn has been cut. (Okay, so that's MY analogy, which is pretty poor...I read this book many years ago!) We are physical as well as spiritual beings and we need to learn with our whole beings, not just with our brains. Dr. Taylor's book is a wonderful complement to the Charlotte Mason approach to education as well as the Montessori approach (as taught by Maria Montessori and not by the dozens of New Agey schools that have sprouted up everywhere using her surname). Not as delightful as sharing a bottle of wine with Dr. Taylor, this book may be the next best thing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    I just finished this book today and was thoroughly impressed throughout. The author is clear and concise and he cites all the right people: Augustine, Benedict, Aquinas, and Newman. It is a great look at education and the poetic mode of learning and teaching. Something long forgotten even in Christian School circles, and perhaps even in Classical circles too. The last two chapters are the best: he applies the principles from earlier in the book to a real school that was around in the 1970s. In t I just finished this book today and was thoroughly impressed throughout. The author is clear and concise and he cites all the right people: Augustine, Benedict, Aquinas, and Newman. It is a great look at education and the poetic mode of learning and teaching. Something long forgotten even in Christian School circles, and perhaps even in Classical circles too. The last two chapters are the best: he applies the principles from earlier in the book to a real school that was around in the 1970s. In the last chapter he applies poetic mode of knowledge to current schools and puts the challenge to educators to step up and think more thoroughly about how learning is something that is done through the whole person. Two quick points. First, the best school is one founded on friendship among the teachers. The mutual understanding of the Lord as the foundation in which there is all truth and the teachers' mutual enjoyment of discussing this profound mystery with each other is a force to be reckoned with in any school. Second, the teachers need to know that every little part of the school is training and teaching the student. Taylor talks about how the lighting and the heating in a room will train students about the world because they are experiencing it directly. This is something that their are learning through their senses which will translate to all sorts of other subjects. He also mentions how "Call of the Wild" is a great piece of literature which touches on Math, Science, History, and Theology. With just one book, he jumps to all of these subjects because they all add something to the experience of reading the book. This is a must read for every teacher. Buy it, borrow it, beg for it, just get it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James Nance

    What follows is my summary of this book. "The poetic mode of learning is a sensory-emotional experience of reality, a spontaneous act of the senses with the intellect, getting the learner inside of the object of experience. It occurs in a setting of leisure, initiated in wonder and leading to a love of reality. It was the traditional mode of learning among the ancients and medievals, but was largely discarded and replaced by the analytical/scientific mode by Descartes, Dewey, and other modern edu What follows is my summary of this book. "The poetic mode of learning is a sensory-emotional experience of reality, a spontaneous act of the senses with the intellect, getting the learner inside of the object of experience. It occurs in a setting of leisure, initiated in wonder and leading to a love of reality. It was the traditional mode of learning among the ancients and medievals, but was largely discarded and replaced by the analytical/scientific mode by Descartes, Dewey, and other modern educators. It was revived briefly in Maslacq, France in the 1940s, and in the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas in the 1970s and 80s."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dale

    This is an excellent book, and quite challenging compared to what I had been taught for many years. Five high school teachers spent six weeks reading through and discussing it. The author did a great job of showing historically how we have arrived at Cartesian learning in the West. He did less of a good job showing what the alternative would look like. I had concerns as I read through the book. He says on page 131 that St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle were omitted from the 2-year college course This is an excellent book, and quite challenging compared to what I had been taught for many years. Five high school teachers spent six weeks reading through and discussing it. The author did a great job of showing historically how we have arrived at Cartesian learning in the West. He did less of a good job showing what the alternative would look like. I had concerns as I read through the book. He says on page 131 that St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle were omitted from the 2-year college course because they could not be studied in the poetic mode. It seems that if the pedagogy cannot adequately deal with all types of literature, then it is not sufficient. The author admits (page 160) that Aquinas himself says that poetic knowledge is defective. That may be reason alone to avoid Aquinas in the poetic mode. It would have been nice to see details about how the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kentucky actually worked.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Without over-simplifying one of life's most complicated phenomena, Taylor boils down education (at least, successful, meaningful education) as the excitement of the soul unto love. He prefaces this central discussion with a thorough survey of philosophical treatment of knowledge and imagination from Plato to Aristotle, Augustine, Benedict, Aquinas and through to modern thinkers like Maritain and Pieper (including a decent treatment of the "Cartesian legacy"). And while that first section may be Without over-simplifying one of life's most complicated phenomena, Taylor boils down education (at least, successful, meaningful education) as the excitement of the soul unto love. He prefaces this central discussion with a thorough survey of philosophical treatment of knowledge and imagination from Plato to Aristotle, Augustine, Benedict, Aquinas and through to modern thinkers like Maritain and Pieper (including a decent treatment of the "Cartesian legacy"). And while that first section may be over the head of some popular audiences, anyone who has had a special teacher shape or inspire them will understand what Taylor is really getting at in this book and, I think, be encouraged as they then attempt to shape and inspire their own students. Taylor retains a little too much Platonism for my taste, but I think that's mostly a result of his training and a laudable respect for his own former instructors; and in the end, his Aristotelianism still wins the day in spite of himself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brad Belschner

    Pretty good book. "Poetic" doesn't mean poems; it means actually doing stuff physically. I think the author gets too bogged down on philosophy in the middle of the book (which is ironic), but the last third gets practical again. This book is basically an introduction to the concept, so don't expect any detailed guidelines here. Personally, that's what I'd like to hear more about. Details thorough descriptions of what poetic education might look like. Pretty good book. "Poetic" doesn't mean poems; it means actually doing stuff physically. I think the author gets too bogged down on philosophy in the middle of the book (which is ironic), but the last third gets practical again. This book is basically an introduction to the concept, so don't expect any detailed guidelines here. Personally, that's what I'd like to hear more about. Details thorough descriptions of what poetic education might look like.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katy Cruel

    In the words of Ruth. This one is a "game-changer"! In the words of Ruth. This one is a "game-changer"!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Gearhart

    Learning in the poetic mode is not about studying but about doing, participating. It is pre-scientific, for the beginner, not the specialist, so the specialist, if he was never allowed to play there first, must go back to it in order that he may know his subject at a deeper, more intuitive level. It is about connection with reality through the senses, both internal and external. It is a form of knowledge, it is intellectual, but it includes the emotions. It values the whole, living thing, not th Learning in the poetic mode is not about studying but about doing, participating. It is pre-scientific, for the beginner, not the specialist, so the specialist, if he was never allowed to play there first, must go back to it in order that he may know his subject at a deeper, more intuitive level. It is about connection with reality through the senses, both internal and external. It is a form of knowledge, it is intellectual, but it includes the emotions. It values the whole, living thing, not the dead parts. It is about concrete experiences with reality either in actuality or vicariously through some medium. It is your little girl watching a frog in your backyard pond, not dissecting it to learn it’s parts. It is your teenager understanding intuitively about a lever because he played on a see-saw for hours in his childhood or used a pitchfork to move hay on your farm. It is knowing the nature and the essence of a horse because you spend countless hours with them, not memorizing it’s anatomy. Poetic knowledge is learning a language by speaking it, not by picking apart every word in the sentence, parsing and diagramming. It is feeling music inside you, dancing to it, singing, understanding tempo and pitch because it’s a part of you, not memorizing sharps and flats and chords and scales. It is living the life of a historical figure vicariously through a high-quality, engaging book. It’s why our kids should spend loads of time outdoors in nature, playing in trees, on swings, with building materials, watching living things, staring at the night sky. It’s why our kids should listen to, dance to, and sing all types of music, hear poetry daily, create their own works of art in imitation of what they’ve experienced, play pretend, and generally have the liberty to just BE in the real world. Poetic knowledge seems to be the key to motivation because it is about what is REAL and we are all desperate for reality. Connection and wonder are the driving forces. Love is the anchor. Poetic knowledge synthesizes, brings together, integrates. It looks at the whole, the essence, the nature. This type of knowledge was considered completely valid in the ancient and medieval world, but has lost its validity in the modern mind, replaced by the rigidity of the scientific method which has laid claim to be the king of all forms of knowledge. … What an excellent book! I would put it up there with Norms and Nobility by Hicks and A Philosophy of Education by Mason as the triad of top educational philosophy books I’ve read (With Consider This by Glass as a close runner-up!). It was a hard slog at the beginning, but once he got to Descartes it really started picking up speed and the last couple chapters were a breeze. I do wish he would have given more concrete examples at the beginning of the book instead of the end in order to “ground” the abstraction. That seems like it would have been more in line with the thesis of the book! Highly recommended for all educators, those interested in epistemology, or anyone dissatisfied with the reductionistic mindset we’re all swimming in. It’s an eye-opening book, and I’ll be thinking about the ideas for a very long time. … Some favorite quotes: “This position of poetic knowledge has no quarrel with the realm of the expert – the opera star or the physician – but it does hold that there is a proper order of knowledge… beginning with the poetic; without the observance of this order, one can “produce” pianists who can perfectly play the notes of the great composers without playing the music, and doctors who treat diseases but not the whole person who is ill.” “Of course, there is real effort required at some point in learning, and often great effort is required to learn something well. But this is a situation that arises after the experience of wonder – if it arises at all – and the exertion for this kind of learning is usually in the student on the way to becoming a specialist or expert. And, even in the case of the specialist, the true scientist for example, there would always be the memory of the original love of the thing about which he first wondered.” “A large problem with [Descartes’s] Discourse is that not everything is known clearly and distinctly as the Method exclusively calls for. As a matter of fact, there are different kinds of certainty; one, for example, in ethics, another in mathematics. Even with the most rigorous application of deductive reasoning, certain subjects of human inquiry do not admit to the same degree of certitude. To know that 2 + 2 = 4, indubitably, is not the same kind of knowledge as in knowing that a definition of justice is giving to each his due; nor is either one of these like the certainty I have that someone loves me. To demand that each field of inquiry, that all knowledge, yield a high degree of demonstrative certainty is, finally, unreasonable. The subject (object) of study, of course, is the determinate factor, and only mathematics, as Descartes holds, is capable of demonstrative certainty; whereas common experience allows for much that is the result of probable reasoning.” “Sooner or later, it is all reduced to “facts.” This [modern, reductionistic] approach bypasses the contemplative nature of knowledge, leaving the student disconnected from his nature and the nature out there. Alone, though armed with Facts, such a student is likely to become arrogant with a sense of dominance over nature when the universe is seen more and more as an obstacle and problem to be conquered instead of a companion reality to be learned from.” “Lecture appeals mainly to the intellect and even more so, to the extent lecture is prepared and planned, relies less and less on the intuitive connections within the memory of the speaker. In the end, lecture of this kind eliminates the surprise and delight in learning. The analogy of a traditional jazz band, improvising on a familiar theme, was used by the professors [at the Integrated Humanities Program] to describe their spontaneous conversations.” “Basically, then, scientific education explains; critical education dissects; poetic education, by way of the integrated senses, experiences. Therefore, the position of the teachers of the IHP was that in the order of knowledge, experience comes first, but experience of two kinds, direct and imaginatively participatory. Because Dewey and the more empirically minded educators denied or ignored the metaphysical and transcendental dimension of the senses and emotions, only actual experience of things for them brought knowledge, and even this had to be a direct experience that involved manipulating the environment in some way to wrench knowledge from it. But both direct and vicarious experience are poetic under the philosophy of IHP, insofar as they remain uncritical and content to begin to learn in ‘wise passiveness.’” “When a sentence is broken into its parts for the purpose of learning how to read and write, a child may become a whiz at identifying nouns, verbs, and adjectives, but the integrity of the language as that living thing capable of communicating living ideas is violated. Scientific grammar is studied, if at all, at the end of years of exposure to the literature of one’s tradition.” “Historically important dates and names are not only necessary to know when learning history, but for students these can also be enjoyable, if those precise things are left embedded in the stories of history…. Textbooks of history should be avoided, for these are far too abstract for young minds, books about books, usually, that merely summarize events.” “When a flower is taken apart and examined as pistil, stamen, stem, and petals, each part is seen exactly and a certain curiosity is indeed satisfied; however, curiosity is not wonder, the former being the itch to take apart, the latter to gaze on things as they are. Curiosity belongs to the scientific impulse and would strive to dominate nature; whereas, wonder is poetic and is content to view things in their wholeness and full context, to pretty much leave them alone. Stated as simply as possible, science sees knowledge as power; poetic knowledge is admiratio, love. In other words, take the students outside, regularly, and turn even a backyard into a laboratory of the open fields. Once again, textbooks at this level are a burden, they get between the student and the things of admiration. Let them make their own notes and pictures, poems and stories, about what they have seen. Biology is the observation of living things, not dead things.” “For the desire of the real to rise up, there must be something real to arouse it, and gadgets, computers, and gimmicks used to hold attention, all taking place in classroom environments technologically insulated from reality, are simply parts of the generally unlovable atmosphere of modern education – unlovable because they are all efficiency, utility, and no longer beautiful.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donald Linnemeyer

    This book started out incredibly confusing and abstract, and as long as the James Taylor stayed at that level, the book suffered from vague and seemingly contradictory educational ideals. Roughly the last half of the book - chapters 5-7 - is much more concrete, and there, James Taylor (heh, I love saying that in this context) gave some very vivid examples of how to improve schools. Instead of the lofty abstractions of the first four chapters, he pushes toward education that forces students to get This book started out incredibly confusing and abstract, and as long as the James Taylor stayed at that level, the book suffered from vague and seemingly contradictory educational ideals. Roughly the last half of the book - chapters 5-7 - is much more concrete, and there, James Taylor (heh, I love saying that in this context) gave some very vivid examples of how to improve schools. Instead of the lofty abstractions of the first four chapters, he pushes toward education that forces students to get their hands dirty, to learn more realistically and practically. Chapter 5 is his strongest, and Taylor relies a lot on Thomas Shields (The Making and Unmaking of a Dullard) and Henri Charlier (Culture, Ecole, Metier). His description of the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas was also helpful, though still a little more academically oriented than I'd prefer.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brandie

    Taylor opens the book by comparing two boys who are being asked about horses. One boy has a scientific book definition of horses, but has never been around them. The other boy has been around horses training and riding them, but does not know the scientific names or specific facts about them. The second boy has a more "poetic" intuitive knowledge. His argument is that specific deep factual knowledge should be reserved for much older students and poetic knowledge should be for younger students. He Taylor opens the book by comparing two boys who are being asked about horses. One boy has a scientific book definition of horses, but has never been around them. The other boy has been around horses training and riding them, but does not know the scientific names or specific facts about them. The second boy has a more "poetic" intuitive knowledge. His argument is that specific deep factual knowledge should be reserved for much older students and poetic knowledge should be for younger students. He reminds me a little of Charlotte Mason. He has a big beef with Descartes. I think he reacts in the opposite extreme.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    It's been quite a few years since I read it, but it was and is one of the most important books I have ever read, in terms of solidifying intensely my belief that beauty matters...beauty of schools, for example, and in particular. Lots of other stuff is in there, too. I was fortunate to meet Dr. Taylor some years back when he spoke at a homeschooling conference. He is as kind and courtly in person as the way he writes in Poetic Knowledge. It's been quite a few years since I read it, but it was and is one of the most important books I have ever read, in terms of solidifying intensely my belief that beauty matters...beauty of schools, for example, and in particular. Lots of other stuff is in there, too. I was fortunate to meet Dr. Taylor some years back when he spoke at a homeschooling conference. He is as kind and courtly in person as the way he writes in Poetic Knowledge.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    I'll fess up. I didn't understand this book. I've never read Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas or Descartes so I had no hooks to hang anything the author was trying to say on. The last 2 chapters were interesting but without understanding the foundational philosophy behind it, I wouldn't dare try and implement the ideas contained in them. I'll fess up. I didn't understand this book. I've never read Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas or Descartes so I had no hooks to hang anything the author was trying to say on. The last 2 chapters were interesting but without understanding the foundational philosophy behind it, I wouldn't dare try and implement the ideas contained in them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    William

    This book is a good summary of what others have said about poetic knowledge. Taylor also recounts some of his own experiences teaching about poetic knowledge to others and suggests possible directions for poetic knowledge in education.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    This was slow read, but worth it. I'd give it five stars, but I wanted a little more from it in the end, which I realize is an entirely uninformative and unsatisfactory thing to say in a review. I may come back and write more fully when I've had time to think about it. This was slow read, but worth it. I'd give it five stars, but I wanted a little more from it in the end, which I realize is an entirely uninformative and unsatisfactory thing to say in a review. I may come back and write more fully when I've had time to think about it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    A fantastic book! Must-read for educators!

  18. 5 out of 5

    TheRose

    Wonderful argument for the beauty of Classical Education that has been lost to us. Right up there with Climbing Parnassus!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Very good. Great again in 2013

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mystie Winckler

    Own. Hosted an online book club to discuss this book started April 5th, 2011 at my blog: http://www.pelennorfields.com/mystie/.... Own. Hosted an online book club to discuss this book started April 5th, 2011 at my blog: http://www.pelennorfields.com/mystie/....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This was a fascinating account of the definition and history of this more experiential type of knowledge.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Love this book -- cannot recommend it highly enough.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bobbi Martens

    Excellent book on educating along with the grain of the human soul. Good read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    A difficult read-- as evidenced by the notes I had to take to really get a grip on it-- but a fascinating exposition of an understanding of knowledge that has been forgotten.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    review to come.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Bair

    Wavered between 3 and 4 stars - I'd say 3.5 is accurate. I loved the first half of this book. The philosophical history of education was fascinating and eye-opening. What I didn't like was Taylor's personal opinion on what should be done to fix our current state of education. There is surely a balance between the pragmatic, test-crazy public school, and a school with no modern conveniences whatsoever (he even eschews air conditioning, because we need to poetically experience the 100 degree heat Wavered between 3 and 4 stars - I'd say 3.5 is accurate. I loved the first half of this book. The philosophical history of education was fascinating and eye-opening. What I didn't like was Taylor's personal opinion on what should be done to fix our current state of education. There is surely a balance between the pragmatic, test-crazy public school, and a school with no modern conveniences whatsoever (he even eschews air conditioning, because we need to poetically experience the 100 degree heat in order to learn well, apparently!) I also find his thoughts on discussing literature to be a little out there, especially compared with someone like Charlotte Mason. But overall, I enjoyed what Taylor had to say and this book has definitely given me inspiration as we begin our homeschooling journey.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    A thought provoking book. Admittedly the first 2/3rds through the various philosophies was a bit of a slog, though it makes the point. I found the final chapters about putting these ideas of poetic knowledge into practice in schools and homes the most interesting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diana Gonzalez Rodriguez

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Handermann

  30. 5 out of 5

    Megan

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