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Can Virtue Be Taught?

Along with wisdom, the inculcation of virtue is the primary goal of a classical Christian education. But is virtue something you can teach? Barton Gingerich at the Acton Institute tells us how Russell Kirk, one of the great Christian political and social thinkers of the twentieth century, answers that question. “Can virtuous citizens be formed by tutoring and other rational forms of education?” he asks. Kirk’s answer? Moral virtue grows out of habit (ethos); it Read more…

Exordium

More Bad News About Screen Time for Kids

Another study gives a disturbing picture of the consequences of screen time for young people. In an observational study, funded by the National Institutes for Health and published in the Lancet, researchers focused on 4,500 children between the ages of 8 and 11 and found that kids who spent more than two hours a day in front of screens “were linked to poorer cognition.” Using data collected over a ten-year period by the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, Read more…

Exordium

A distinguished scholar of global digital learning has hard words for opponents of traditional math

We’ve all heard the rhetoric: “Boring” drill and practice and “rote” memorization are the constant scapegoats for education failure among America’s public educators. The tired school rhetoric running down such traditional practices gives one the impression that schools across the country are numbing the minds of students through antiquated “drill and kill” practices from which students need to be liberated. But Barbara Oakley, author of A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science Read more…

Exordium

Plant Blindness: Why Scientists Who Know Nature Are Becoming an Endangered Species

With all the emphasis on science in today’s schools, who would have thought that an actual knowledge of nature would be a casualty? In a recent article for Memoria Press, I discussed what some are now calling a national crisis. According to The Wall Street Journal: … The issue has prompted botanical gardens around the nation to raise the alarm. Colleges are beefing up plant identification coursework for a generation of botanists more focused on Read more…

Exordium

The Before Exercises

From the Late Summer edition of The Classical Teacher: The progymnasmata, a Greek word that translates as “the before exercises,” encompassed the pre-rhetoric study of all the educated West from ancient Greece to Paul, from Quintilian, Aphthonius, Augustine, and Aquinas up until Lewis and Tolkien. Because our Christian philosophy and expression are so steeped in this tradition, it might be better to ask “Why not?” instead of “Why?” study the progymnasmata. In addition to its tradition, there are two absolutely critical reasons why the progymnasmata holds a Read more…

Classifieds

Latin Teacher in Northwest TN

Description: The Cottage Grove Christian School is seeking a classicist to assume teaching duties in the lower, middle, and/or upper schools in August 2019 or sooner. The candidate must be a serious Latinist who is at least conversational in spoken Latin but committed to achieving fluency. The candidate must be an observant Christian. The candidate must appreciate the cultural heritage of the American South. CGCS is a small, independent, private, K–12 academy committed to providing Read more…

Exordium

What the Liberal Arts Have To Do With Science

In his now out of print book Great Ideas from the Great Books, Mortimer Adler, late editor of The Encyclopedia Britannica and the The Great Books of the Western World, points out that, contrary to common opinion, the liberal arts have quite a lot to do with science and innovation. In fact, he says, they are essential. Liberal education, including all the traditional arts as well as the newer sciences, is essential for the development Read more…

Exordium

Where the Nonsense Comes From

Jacques Barzun was one of the great humanities scholars of the 20th century. Among his many achievements were several classic books on education and teaching, books such as Teacher in America (1945) and Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning (1991). In Begin Here, Barzun discusses where educational nonsense comes from by identifying three common but mistaken assumptions about teaching children. The first is ignoring the fact that schooling involves teaching in groups: Thus Read more…

Exordium

What’s on YOUR list? Do you have a “personal canon” of books that informs your thinking and actions?

In an article published just last month, Hillsdale College’s E. J. Hutchinson discusses William Hazlitt’s great essay “On Reading Old Books.” As Hutchinson points out, many Christians are familiar with C. S. Lewis’ “On the Reading of Old Books” (and those who aren’t should be). But although the titles are similar, the two writers each take a different approach: Where Lewis focuses on the dangers of contemporary prejudice and the atmospheric contamination, as it were, Read more…

Exordium

Angry Greeks don’t want their Latin taken away

The Greek government, in an attempt to reform education, has decided to drop Latin and replace it with sociology, and a few people are not very happy about it. But the interesting thing is the reason critics are giving for keeping it. According to the account at ekathimerini.com: Education Minister Costas Gavroglou faced a barrage of criticism Tuesday after announcing his intention on Monday to scrap Latin from the Greek school curriculum as part of his Read more…