Styles and Pedagogies

Charlotte Mason/ Living Books
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

She believed that children should be treated as people, and receive a broad education, including reading good literature that has not been dumbed-down, learning through real-life situations and through play/ exploration.

She promoted teaching basic reading, writing and math skills and then to
expose children to the best sources of knowledge for all other subjects ie nature walks, museums, etc

“Living books” is a phrase that was coined to describe literature that made the subject “come alive” in contrast to textbooks that tend to be dull and dry and assume the reader cannot think for him/herself.


This approach recognises that children naturally want to explore and that will lead to their learning.

A proponent of this style of learning is John Holt, American Educator.

Thematic Units

A thematic unit approach takes an idea or theme and weaves learning around that, relating the many disciplines (subjects) back to the main theme.

ie spiders, ANZAC day, Eiffel Tower.


This is perhaps the most familiar to us, being the majority attended state or private school..

A curriculum is simply a pre-prescribed path of study, using text books.

The Eclectic method

Being eclectic in education has the same meaning as in life in general - it is the piecing together of seemingly unrelated materials to produce a rich tapestry of learning.