“Of Teaching…” ~In the style of Francis Bacon


There are four great advantages of the principled instrument of teaching. First that teaching is by example and design, a speaker of truths should seek not to simulate. The second, cultivation of a wholesome discipline. The third, development of logic, reason and the critical faculties of discernment. The fourth and final, discourse and dialogue in balance with reflection and gathering.

Of the first, teaching by example and design, clarity of vision and thoughts, habits and manner. Encourageth a sense of the whole, foster reason within the concept linking and introduce incremental illumination of the framework glimpsed.

Those that teacheth, should embody the truth they spake, lest simulation and false profession provide the lesson. For in the detection and reception of such an odious vice will depriveth the student of both the trust and belief in the teacher as an instrument of truth and the qualities of the lesson imparteth.

Of the second, the cultivation of a wholesome discipline. Awareness of the turbulent teenage tempests and disposition, when dynamic scattered energies twitcheth, a wholesome habit may form, of movement and stillness, for an extreme of either will disrupteth the enquiring mind and early habits will settle and come to negative effect in older age. Freedom of movement, freedom of speech and freedom of thought. But with the caveat to temper and calm quarrelsome, choleric outbursts or melancholic disillusionment of these bodies and minds torn by hormonal infusions and frustrations borne of the incomplete. Not quite yet fully formed, the in between state of child and adult.

Of the third, Critical Faculties and discernment are of particular importance in times such as these, with such a variety of reading, sources and opinion. One is presenteth with a myriad of truths, a multi-faceted divergence. Is the student to become a hunter of a truth or a gatherer of many, perchance in conflict? The underpinning faith in the framework must provide a means to serve for comparisons and evaluation. An ever strengthening backbone, for only what will nourish will be nurtured in the bosom of knowing.

Of the fourth, a fostering of group collaboration, dialogue and discourse. increments of learning and a glimpse of the whole allows for dynamic discussion bearing fruit within the discharge when sharing with the mind of another. Discourse serves as additional instruments of reflection and gathering, yet not of the solitary, meditative quality. A wit clarifying balm, marshaling communication, a process of enlightenment and a further framing. This stage in learning is a progressive one, students must be wholly acquainted with the first 3 tenets. For discourse may seemeth counsel or resolute truth, bowing a swaying to the charismatic orator. It is desirous, the honourable backbone of existing truth manifest, not manifold. The piercing, penetration of judgement.

Lastly, in summary..

Seek ye to inspire a yearning for learning rather than to instill a lesson

Foster the habits and wholesome discipline which will serve regardless of the unfolding of the individual learning journey. Present the tools, critical faculties of discernment and opportunities for well matched discourse.

A precious, hard won truth that one finds oneself, and enlivens the hungry spirit is so much more prized than if the truth were conveniently presented.

Wherewith i will conclude, moveth the heart, allow for the spark and the passion to learn will grow.

One thought on ““Of Teaching…” ~In the style of Francis Bacon”

  1. This was a piece of writing for the MSc in Education Technologies, theory of education module. We were asked to write “Of Education” in the style of Francis Bacon.

    I listened to (and read) a great deal of Bacon;s works to prepare for this. Quite a collection of reflections! Of “this” of “that”. I’ve always loved olde English, so this was very enjoyable for me, took ages and ages though. I had definitive ideas that I wanted to get across, structured the argument, then “translated” them to an appropriate old English style and in Bacon’s style, in particular.

    The feedback I received was that I focussed too much on the Francis Bacon aspect of the brief. I realise that unless you have immersed yourself in Bacon prose, this piece of writing is not easily accessible. I learnt a lot from this exercise, I rekindled an old(e) love of old English. Read a huge amount of Francis Bacon’s work, interpreting the language of presentation and in context of the era. For some ironic chuckles, read his ideas on women and relationships. Context is all important.

    Audience accessibility of the language of presentation is truly important, as is the context of interpretation. These reflections led me to best practices for brief writing, In normal classroom situations, you may set the brief, but you then have the personal interaction with class, to more fully explain the brief and to check that your group have understood. All this said, a brief should stand alone and be understood. It should also be brief.

    Briefest Brief: Write “Of Education” in the style of Francis Bacon.

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