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Developing A Well Educated Mind
If you are interested in reading and finally understanding the greatest written works of civilization, Susan Wise Bauer can help. In her book The Well Educated Mind: A Guide To The Classical Education You Never Had, she fully explains, instructs and outlines how to pursue this goal step by step.It is Bauer’s opinion that in order to achieve a well educated mind and fill in the gaps left from a less than ideal education, one needs to read and study some 30 major works across five genres including poetry and drama, history/politics, autobiography and fiction. She encourages the reader to use her plan and techniques for studying, reading and note taking. Designed for adult learners and high school students, her methods are highly structured and require discipline. She maps out a plan for the reader to follow consisting of 30 minute sessions 4 days a week.
She suggests taking on these great works in three phases.
- First, read the material to learn the facts.
- The second read through is for evaluating those facts.
- The third read through is when the student can begin to form their opinion based on what they have already comprehended.
Note taking is an essential activity in obtaining a complete and thorough understanding and the reader is encouraged to mark up their text or notebook with observations, analysis and interpretations gained in the process. Included in the book is ample advice on improving your reading skills to achieve a higher, more desirable level of literacy.
Bauer’s plan is extensive, but easy to follow. She also includes a synopsis of each recommended work, and additional resources to aid the student in developing their skills.
Susan Wise Bauer is well known for her book The Well Trained Mind that she co-wrote with her mother, Jessie Wise . The Well Trained Mind has become the guidebook for parents educating their children at home with the classical model of education. She has also published an educational series designed for home school parents teaching reading and history from a classical approach.