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A Teacher Did All He Could to Keep Kids Off Phones. He’s Quitting in Frustration.

May 23, 2024

A Teacher Did All He Could to Keep Kids Off Phones. He’s Quitting in Frustration. by Julie Jargon at The Wall Street Journal. Mitchell Rutherford faced a crisis of confidence as smartphones took over his Arizona classroom and students lost the motivation to learn. Mitchell Rutherford has taught biology at a public high school for 11 years. He’s quitting after this semester because he’s tired of trying to engage students who are lost in their phones. Read


Unplug the Classroom. Or Reboot It. Just Don’t Do Nothing. by Antón Barba-Kay at The New Republic. Schools must drastically remake their approach to technology—or continue their ongoing collapse into irrelevance…We are fond of saying that tools and technology are neutral; a hammer may be used for good or ill. But, in the face of evidence about their addictive character, certain digital devices call to mind not so much hammers as hits of cocaine. Read


From the Western Canon to West Point by Matthew Hennessey at The Wall Street Journal. Two members of Cardinal Kung’s tiny graduating class will join the long gray line of cadets this summer. Any high-school principal will tell you it’s a big deal when a graduating senior is accepted by the U.S. Military Academy. Getting two kids from the same high school in the same year into West Point is rare. Read


Transported by Memory: Why Every Student Should Read My Ántonia by Mary Frances Loughran at Cana Academy. The fictional memoir My Ántonia opens in nineteenth century Nebraska. The time is distant from our own. For most contemporary students, there is little or no experience with the life of farming, much less the hard, pre-mechanized life settlers faced. But students find in Ántonia’s world a vast, rugged, and yet mysteriously beautiful prairie that is home to extraordinary characters, some simple and good, others naive yet determined, still others with wicked pasts or present enmities. Her world stands in for the whole world; it is a window into the span of human will. Read


The Beautification of Classical Schools by Jeremy Wayne Tate at First Things. The great irony of many classical schools is that while the coursework is beautiful, the classrooms are often banal. Teaching in dingy church basements was a sad necessity at the beginning of the classical school movement, which worked overtime to open schools and meet demand. But now, decades later, there is another classical school movement sweeping the country, and this time it must raise its ambitions: Classical school buildings should reflect the beauty of the curriculum they teach. Read


Catholic High School Decades in the Making Breaks Ground in Northern Colorado by Kate Quiñones at Catholic News Agency. After operating out of a parish for four years, a long-anticipated Catholic high school in northern Colorado celebrated graduation on its newly broken ground last weekend. The seniors who pioneered St. John Paul II High School as freshmen studying at Our Lady of the Valley Parish four years ago graduated on the 44 acres that will be home to the school’s future building. These 12 students — the first graduates to have gone through the entire program — joined the founding headmaster, Blaise Hockel, in breaking ground days before graduation. Read


Court Says Maryland Parents Have No Right to Opt out of LGBTQ Curriculum by Daniel Payne at Catholic News Agency. A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that parents in Maryland have no right to be informed when their children are being instructed with LGBTQ materials or to opt their children out of that instruction. The legal advocacy group Becket Law, which is representing the parents challenging the Montgomery County Board of Education, said on Wednesday that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling. Read


Love (and Learning) in the Ruins by Anthony E. Clark, Ph.D. at Catholic World Report. Our universities need to return to the Liberal Arts, which do not call for the educated to retreat from difficult issues, but to form minds for self-possessed and more effective modes of assessment and engagement. The news is chockful of campus protests, commencement walk-outs, devastated libraries, and shouting matches on the college lawns that traditionally represent solemn respites from exterior storms, where students read, ponder, and serenely stroll to their next classroom. I am a college professor in an era of change and upheaval. Read


Throwback Thursday


The Value of a Catholic Liberal Arts Education by Dominic Aquila at Catholic Education Resource Center on October 3, 1997. Like any Catholic school worthy of being called Catholic, we want our students to make Christian sense out of what they learn in their natural science and math courses, in their history courses, in their study of art, music, and literature. Emphatically, Christian sense does not mean that Christian faith interferes with or overrides the methods proper to the various academic disciplines, or that it has us reject the legitimate contributions of non-Catholics; it means rather that these disciplines, while being fully respected according to their proper autonomy, should, as the nature of each allows, be brought into relation to Christian revelation. And in the encounter with human knowledge Catholic faith not only gives but also receives; consequently our students' faith becomes real and embodied in such a way as to be deepened and enriched. Read

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