Reading Charlotte Mason’s The Saviour of the World in past and present contexts: biblical studies in the classroom

Chalcraft, David, Elton-Chalcraft, Sally ORCID logo ORCID: , Ackroyd, Rebekah ORCID logo ORCID: and Jones, Helen (2023) Reading Charlotte Mason’s The Saviour of the World in past and present contexts: biblical studies in the classroom. Charlotte Mason Centenary Series . Charlotte Mason Institute. Item availability may be restricted.

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This monograph is addressed to a wide audience—teachers, academics, home educators and others—so we hope there is something for everyone. The central question is whether, in a post-Christian, multicultural education system, Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason’s The Saviour of the World can be utilised effectively in biblical studies classes, whether that be through home education or in the classroom. The first section considers Mason’s Christianity in relation to her educational philosophy, pedagogy, and theory of the child. The focus in the second section is on what Mason explicitly says in the Home Education series about the Bible and methods of engaging with it, before turning in the third section to an introduction to the Saviour of the World series and a closer examination of a number of poems. Overall, it is shown how Mason’s child-centred philosophy believes that a long and deep socialisation into the Bible serves to provide the growing child with a love and respect for the Scriptures that will protect them from all contemporary attacks on faith in the Bible and also, as in her own case, enable creative retelling of biblical stories. Such a socialisation is not to be expected today. Following on from this examination, the influence of The Saviour of the World on contemporary practitioners in Mason’s day is briefly considered before the discussion turns to how Mason’s biblical studies in general, and The Saviour of the World in particular, could be used in the hermeneutical religious education (RE) classroom/learning environment today. We also make mention of the art works she used in the series. We discuss contemporary positioning of the Bible, drawing on insights from wider debates about the nature of 21st century RE. We explore whether the Bible should be seen as a source of authority for moral development, as a vehicle for the spiritual development of learners, or as a text for hermeneutical study in the 2020s educational context. We feel it is important for teachers and parents to be aware of the historical and intellectual context when formulating their own opinions about the value of Mason’s The Saviour of the World for their own reflexive practice. The contemporary context of RE is one where diversity is fully acknowledged, and we find that Mason’s pedagogic approach, especially her child-centred perspective, has much to offer the practitioner and can be used by teachers of faith and non-faith since it can be pursued despite Mason’s Christian commitment.

Item Type: Book
Publisher: Charlotte Mason Institute
Departments: Institute of Education > MA Programmes (Education)
Institute of Education > Primary PGCE
Learning Education and Development (LED)
Additional Information: The multi-authored Charlotte Mason Centenary Monograph series is designed to highlight and explore the continuing educational and leadership relevance of Charlotte Mason (1842–1923) through the collective contributions of the Armitt Museum and Library, the University of Cumbria, the Charlotte Mason Institute, and other scholars and practitioners worldwide.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 15:14
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 15:16
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