Sunday, 15 March 2015

Caught, not Taught

Habits have always intrigued me. How do they form? What effects do they have? Can people break or acquire them?

Mr. Jeninga has advised to reflect on habits and then keep the good ones while trying to weed out the bad ones. It's helpful advice.

I like the saying, "Caught more then taught." It captures a truth that is difficult to recognize--sometimes we unintentionally learn things (ideas, habits, attitudes) just from being involved with certain people or situations. We've discussed this concept in Bible courses.

Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist who articulated a complex idea about culture, habits, and attitudes called habitus. Habitus is an attempt to explain how forms and structures in our lives influence us. For example, how does the culture around us shape our individual and collective sense of beauty and attractiveness. How much are we as individuals really in control of what we find beautiful?

I'm interested in this idea as a teacher, as a Christian, as a father, and more because I'd like to be more aware and have a greater influence on the structures, the habitus that shape us. I'm hoping that greater awareness will lead to greater and more effective teaching, learning, and living.

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