BY ANN RENNIE
I loved school. I loved my school, in particular, the school that saw me through from six-year old prep to 18-year old prefect. This was one of the places I learned to be me, to make life-long friends, to build my faith, to believe that the world was waiting for me to take my place in it.
Today, after a late arrival to teaching via a colourful and circuitous career path, I have the privilege of teaching in some of those same classrooms, now refurbished brightly without teacher platforms and chalky blackboards and desks with blackened inkwells.
One of the mantras of that Melbourne convent education at Genazzano in the 1960s was the universal and scary phrase – 'learning by heart'.
We learnt times tables by heart, poems by heart, the names of planets and river systems and capitals and historic dates by heart.
Most especially we learnt our spelling lists off by heart because we had a test every week. Personal mortification for me was a shoddy score of 19 out of 20. I learned by heart the answers to my catechism questions and recited them piously and not merely for the reward of a holy picture which could be swapped on the asphalt at playtime.
What makes learning truly revolutionary? (Australian Catholics)