This is Part 1 in our series. For last week’s introduction, click here.
Who was Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason was born in England in 1842. She was orphaned at the age of 16 and became trained as a teacher. During her first 10 years of teaching she developed a vision of “liberal education for all.” Nineteenth century England educated children according to social class: poorer children were taught a trade while wealthier children were educated in fine arts and literature. Mason desired a rich curriculum for all children, regardless of class.
For five years, she taught and lectured at a teacher training center (Bishop Otter Teacher Training College). Her experiences there convinced her that parents would benefit by understanding basic principles of child rearing. She gave a series of lectures later published as Home Education and it was well-received.
At the age of almost 50, Mason moved to Ambleside, England and formed the House of Education, a training school for governesses and others working with children. She continued writing and eventually more collections were published: Parents and Children, School Education, Ourselves, Formation of Character, and A Philosophy of Education. More schools adopted her philosophies and methods and Ambleside became a teacher training college.
The Charlotte Mason method is based on the ideas that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. Join us next week as we explore more about the Charlotte Mason method.