Wednesdays with Words: Hubris is a Death Knell

Last week, I made the connection between Glass’ foundation of good principles with Mr. Darcy’s education.  I might have done that a week too early as I noted in the comments to that post.

This next chapter is all about humility being the first step to true education. Kelly reminded me recently that Andrew Kern says “Education is repentance.”

Glass clarifies that idea:

…the intellectual and moral journey we want to make toward wisdom and virtue requires a similar recognition, and that is this: I do not have wisdom. I want to know, but I do not yet know. There is still something to be learned. That realization requires humility, which does not seem to come naturally to human beings … (pg 25-26, italics hers)

and, “If we are humble, we are teachable.” (pg 26).

Pride in our intellectual achievements, hubris, is a death knell to the kind of real education that produces virtue, and children are very susceptible to being drawn into this kind of pride, as are their parents. (pg 26).

Finally, the passage that really reminded me of Mr. Darcy:

If virtue is the true goal of classical education, pride in intellectual achievement is the perfect stumbling block to ensure that the goal is never reached. In other words, we must not only become humble, but remain humble if we want to continue our pursuit of wisdom and virtue. (pg 26, italics hers but would have been mine if not included)

or to marry Elizabeth Bennett.



  1. Karen's point about humility was such a profound "aha" for me. The longer I've homeschooled, the more I've realized how much I don't really know. I had a teaching degree so was pretty cocky-confident when I started. Maybe now I'm in a place where I can be taught myself and therefore really teach?

    1. So profound and with the changes we've made this year such a great, reassuring point! I hate admitting I'm wrong. I, too, have a teaching degree and have been pretty sure of myself. I feel like I've been a better teacher in the last two weeks than in quite a while.

  2. Pride is so easy to slip into. I think especially when we are making counter-cultural decisions, pride happens because we're veering away from insecurity. But humility is neither.

    1. I really loved this chapter. It spoke to me because I have been so very prideful about what we do. It not only happens because we're veering away from the mainstream, but because we are veering toward something better. I was talking with a friend who asked why Classical Educators were too stuffy and serious about what we do. I think it is because we're serious about bringing back something we don't know. It is serious business to us, so we don't really mess around very much. A manifestation of pride? Perhaps we ought to be silly occasionally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *