C is Contemplative Life

| April 9, 2014

In objection 2 of article 3 of Summa Theologica: …now teaching is an act of wisdom: for the Philosophyer says (Metaph. I, 1) that “to be able to teach is an indication of knowledge.” Therefore since wisdom or knowledge pertain to the contemplative life, it would seem that teaching also belongs to the contemplative life.

In reply to objection 2 of article 3 of Summa Theologica: Habit and act have a common object. Hence this argument clearly considers the matter of the interior concept. For it pertains to the man having wisdom and knowledge to be able to teach, in so far as he is able to express his interior concept in words, so as to bring another man  to understand the truth.

Based on my previous teaching experiences, I believe that teaching cannot be unitarily considered as either a work of the active or the contemplative life. A man who conceives an intelligible truth (that is what we call the man who has wisdom or knowledge) needs refer to the contemplative life of. However, teaching is not just possessing knowledge; it is an act of wisdom. It is as the process of breathing, which includes inspiration and exhalation. Inspiration represents the contemplative life of teaching; exhalation means the active work of teaching.  Reply to Objection 2 says:  teaching pertains to the man having wisdom to be able to express his interior concepts in words in order to bring another man to understand the truth.  Teaching is also a work of active because it will be happened in the process of expression of interior concepts. The ways of how a knowledgeable man can effectively express his interior concepts to another man requires teaching techniques and strategies based on uniquenesses and needs of individuals. For instance, Tomlinson (2002) suggested how we as educators to invite, inspire, and sustain student learning by addressing  learner differences based on intelligence, socioeconomic status, culture, gender, and students placed at risk. Later on, teachers need to reflect on what students have learned based on both formal and informal assessments. The process of reflection belongs to the contemplative life. After reflection, teachers need to act out in class to see if it is effective or successful. In conclusion, teaching is a continuous and circular process of the combination of both active and the contemplative life.