Matt EmersonOctober 08, 2015
Simone Weil in 1921 (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

I am grateful for this post from Michael St. Thomas (author of this recent insightful piece for America), who at his blog offers thoughts on the role of technology in the classroom, drawing upon Simone Weil for insight. Noting the way students so quickly default to their devices, Michael asks: "But is it really an education when the teacher becomes a disembodied voice at the back of the classroom, a relayer of information to the processers hunched over their screens, rather than a person who attempts, according to the root meaning of education, to draw out from students their real selves by encountering them?"

Reflecting on Weil's essay connecting prayer, study and attention, Michael continues:

In a nutshell, Weil argues that the goal of an education should be to teach students how to pray, and prayer, she says, ultimately means paying attention. Weil goes to lengths to explain exactly what kind of attention she’s talking about. Attention, as she describes it, is not a furrowing of the brow and tensing of the muscles in the attempt to grasp the subject matter but the opposite: a radical receptiveness to what is at hand, to something outside oneself. This approach is what prayer consists of, she claims (and I agree), so in all areas of study, students not only learn about a unique subject; they learn, essentially, how to communicate with God. The essay really is excellent, and I hope to write more about it in the future.
 

How does this relate to technology? Read on at his blog, The Catholic Lit Classroom.  

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

Here is a little story about how I left the church, sort of, and then came slouching back home, more or less.
Simcha FisherFebruary 28, 2021
Pope Francis walks past artwork showing the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and two doves during his general audience at the Vatican in this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
In a book on the health of the popes, Francis discusses his own health history and says he is now in good health for his age.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 27, 2021
Rev. Enda McDonagh served the Irish church as a compassionate priest and renowned theologian. He died on Feb. 24.
Joseph McAuleyFebruary 26, 2021
George Balanchine's jarring choreography breathes new life into a parable that itself upends expectations.
Michelle SmithFebruary 26, 2021