Our class discussion on Tuesday really sparked some provoking thoughts in my head as to my future as an educator. I keep finding myself coming back to the discussion of what is appropriate to teach a child? What is appropriate to let them read? What morals should we allow them to understand and practice? All of these things I am going to be applying to my practice of teaching within this next year. So that’s just it; did Charles Kingsley have the right idea about mixing science, religion and imagination in his novel The Water Babies?
When I think about my future classroom, I think about having a well-rounded environment that provokes creativity, challenges the mind and also helps the children shape their future. Thus, I believe it is appropriate to mix a variety of topics into teaching children. We might think that because they are younger and have less life experience that they should not be exposed to a mixture of elements at one time because they could become confused. But if that is the case, then we are just like the parents that Kingsley was making fun of. Why shouldn’t we introduce religion and science? The theory of evolution does not fit with the teachings of the Bible, but that does not mean that religion lacks science. And the same goes with the realm of magical beings. They might not exist but why would we try and take away the imagination of a child? My tone may be harsh, but really think about these questions. Even if you are not to be an educator, you might have children one day. Would you want to limit their thinking?
The Water Babies is a great narrative to teach children many lessons. Tom started off as the unfortunate chimney sweep who ended up as a mystical water baby with a life much better than the one he had before. To a child, that is magical and mysterious. Kingsley makes learning fun in his novel. I know that when I stand in front of a classroom of eight year olds, they are going to be much more interested in learning about sea life and science through a book like The Water Babies then reading from a dry text book. I believe that by thinking the way that Charles Kingsley did when writing this novel, those of us who are becoming teachers can try to incorporate some of his methods into our own.
So really I am trying to get our class to think further about the discussion that was presented on Tuesday. I feel that the questions we asked were things we do not think about on a regular basis, but maybe we should. Think of yourself as a future teacher and would you be afraid to combine things like science, religion and imagination into your classroom and the minds of your students?
I also found this clip on YouTube that is from the 1978 version of The Water Babies movie! Its cheesy, but still makes what we read in class come to life! Hope you enjoy!