About this Course…

Welcome! Charlotte Mason’s first principle, children are born persons, is a beautifully simple way to say that children are complex. And this fact alone means that education, too, is complex. Educators need to understand how children learn and develop morally, physically, spiritually, and mentally in order to correctly set expectations for students, alter their approach when needed, and so on. When we understand how persons grow, we are best able to spread the feast of education in a way that respects each child as made in the image of God and is most likely to spur on love of the world, others, and God.

Since our understanding of child development is in some senses always changing because of recent discoveries and research, it is important to integrate this new knowledge with our educational philosophy and practices and to assess it from a biblical worldview. As the designer of this course, Dr. Jack Beckman, writes, “The central focus of this course is to integrate the philosophy and model of Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) with current research into learning and child development.” We aim for such a study to help educators better understand Mason’s and others’ philosophies of education and so ultimately teach and guide their students toward truth in an informed, nuanced, and respectful way.

This is a self-study course designed to take one semester and worth about 3 college credits (6-9 hours/week of study). It was developed along with several other courses as part of a Templeton grant to better integrate science and faith within a Mason curriculum.* As we finish out this grant, we would appreciate your feedback on this course through a pre-course survey which you take now and a post-course survey upon completion. Thank you for your participation. 

Though local requirements differ, we hope many can use this course toward Professional Development hours or Continuing Education Units.  Each week is broken into two days, and readings and assignments are included throughout the schedule. These readings and assignments are the backbone of the course which means your narrations (assigned and unassigned) will be vital to help you integrate and assimilate ideas in the course. Look for connections from week to week, discuss the ideas you read with others, gather a few friends to share your presentation(s) with—the more you put in, the more you will get out.

We at the Charlotte Mason Institute are grateful to Dr. Jack Beckman for developing this course for us. We hope it equips you to better educate “for the children’s sake.”



The Charlotte Mason Institute


*This project was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. or the Charlotte Mason Institute.