Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Devilish v. Heavenly Motivators

Mr. Andrew Kern, whom I greatly respect, addressed this subject in a blog post .  An excerpt:
In our godless age, we are convinced behaviorists. We don’t believe in the great mystery of the will, only in appetites. So we stimulate behavior in our students through rewards and punishments and figure that’s all we have to offer. 
This is, of all psychological doctrines, perhaps the most Satanic, for it forces us to imitate the Great Manipulator in the way we govern the souls of our children.
At book club last night we went through the fifth chapter of CM's third volume.  There, CM rejects some of the psychologies of her day as she seeks a psychology that includes the whole man.  Psychology is interesting.  It wants to examine man, but because it also wants to be a science, it cannot go further than the material aspect.  And, as CM points out (quoting noted psychologist William James), "...the waters of metaphysical criticism leak [in] at every joint."

Kern, discussing proper authority, says both intimidation and seduction are devilish motivators.  He recommends we don our proper mantles of authority as fathers, mothers, teachers.  But what are the heavenly motivators?
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable,gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
It is not about getting the student to do things.  It is about speaking to the soul of the child, beckoning to him to rise up and do what he knows is right. Mr. Kern again:
They have a will, though it is underfed and neglected. It cannot be controlled, for it is free. But it can be awakened and beckoned. 
Will you beckon with the Authority of God or the vanity of the Enemy?
Have I faith enough to beckon the will rather than tempt the appetites?

1 comment:

Michele said...

I am appreciating your blog so much, and especially this post. "Have I faith enough to beckon the will rather than tempt the appetites?" Indeed. I have a child I am really struggling with and this is just the reminder I needed.

We use AO as well. I really need to get back to blogging.