“Hat” Teaching Through Example

The book that caught my attention was a book called “Hat” by Paul Hoppe.  The book is about a boy and his mother walking through a park where the boy sees a hat sitting on a park bench.  The boy likes the hat and puts it on imagining all of the wonderful things which he could do if he had this hat for himself.  He planned on keeping the hat for himself when his mother informed him that someone somewhere was probably missing that hat for whatever reason they needed it.  The boy came to the realization that that hat belonged to someone and had meant something special to them.

This book reminded me of the portion of Tuesday’s lecture where we went over this idea of virtue and how that was passed down from parent to child in the time of the enlightenment.  I enjoyed the idea of the book because it portrays the way in which people teach their children how the world works from the time of the enlightenment and now even.  I believe it to be appropriate because of how the child gives his feelings on the hat and what he thought the right thing to do was, then he brought it up to the mother who did what she could to steer the child in the path of honesty and morality as it pertains to the adolescent feelings the child had toward the hat.

Locke I would say agrees with this idea and it shows in his first sentence of “Some thoughts concerning education”, when he states, “Section 67. Manners, as they call it, about which children are so often perplex’d, and have so many goodly exhortations made them by their wise maids and governesses, I think, are rather to be learnt by example than rules…”.  This quote strictly outlines what the book was trying to get across throughout its entirety with the mother (Governess in Locke’s words) was steering the child in the direction of honesty.

Strausberger also described the same things as the book was teaching the readers about morality.  Strausberger, I would say, believed that people (children in this case) learned by example or teaching.  Strausberger actually quotes someone else in his piece which pertains to this, he quoted Aimee Dorr, who said, “As they grow older, they become increasingly like us and therefore intelligible to us, but at each age or stage of development there is something for adults to learn more about, to be amused by, and to adjust to.”  Which would show that she would agree with this idea that Children learn and develop very much from forms of example.  The mother in the story was teaching the boy how things were so that boy is more likely to grow up and teach his children the same life lessons.

Lastly I pull from Blake’s piece which we were assigned to add to my point that children learn by example.  I pull specifically from the poem, “Schoolboy”, this poem, as we had talked about in class, was about a schoolboy longing for the butterflies and lazy happiness that adolescence and life had to offer but was eventually trumped by the ways and rules of adults.  The line that outlines this idea is when he says, “But to go to school in a summer morn,
Oh! it drives all joy away”.  The boy eventually had to come to the realization that he had to go to school and learn just like adults when they were his age.  This idea once again telling about how parents teach their kids, who lead by the example, which the parents learned when they were kids.


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One thought on ““Hat” Teaching Through Example

  1. I enjoyed your analysis and love that you traced a theme through each of the pieces, uniting them and reflecting them back on the Enlightenment ideas. Definitely a “Satisfactory” for me.

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