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Classical Education: Self-Study or Personal Response?

Apr 10, 2024

Classical Education: Self-Study or Personal Response? by Andrew J. Zwerneman at Cana Academy. One hears a lot about the self these days: self-help, self-choice, self-fulfillment. Even classical educators sometimes march under the banner of the self: “Students should recognize themselves in the books they read.” To educate, however, is to lead out, and what students need is to be led beyond themselves. Do we have a better term than “self,” something clearly more open and outward? We do, and to boot, it is an older term with deep classical roots: namely, the person. Read


Making a Case for Cursive by Francisco Zuniga at Intellectual Takeout. Cursive penmanship is a dying art. History professor and former president of Harvard Drew Gilpin Faust wrote an essay in 2022 lamenting that Generation Z never learned cursive. She acknowledges that “the decline in cursive seems inevitable. Writing is, after all, a technology, and most technologies are sooner or later surpassed and replaced.” Read


3 Reasons Every Student Should Read the Declaration of Independence by Mary Frances Loughran at Cana Academy. Declaring independence from Great Britain was, of course, a pivotal moment in American history. That alone is an exceptionally good reason why every student should read the Declaration of Independence. There are, however, broader reasons having to do with republican political order, history, and liberal education. Read


Katy Carl on Contemporary Catholic Fiction: Part I by Alex Taylor at Word on Fire. Problems start to grow when we try to cheat art, or life, out of easy conclusions without engaging real complexity. Sometimes we just want the “takeaway,” the capsule version, the executive summary. But art isn’t built to give us that. Prayer isn’t built to give us that. In both art and prayer, you must go through the experience for yourself and receive what God has in store for you there: not for someone else, but for you, unique and unrepeatable. Read


A Reading Plan for the Works of Evelyn Waugh (Photo Gallery) by John Touhey at Aleteia. The books of this great British writer, a Catholic convert, are essential reading if one wishes to make sense of today’s world through the lens of faith. The popularity of Brideshead Revisited will ensure that the novelist Evelyn Waugh will be read for decades to come, especially among Catholics. Read


The Voucher Effect? South Florida Catholic Schools See More Kids, Even Waiting Lists by Jim Rigg and Jimena Tavel at Miami Herald. Helped by an influx of new Floridians, and boosted by the state’s newly expanded voucher system, Catholic schools in South Florida are seeing steady growth and even adding new classrooms. That’s in stark contrast to what’s going on in the public schools, particularly in Broward County, which faces tough decisions on closing entire schools after decades of continuous decline in enrollment. Read


Catholic Education and Reform in the Spirit of Blessed Alcuin of York by Jesse Russell at Catholic World Report. “The ‘Catholic mind’ is a mind perfectly conformed to the Church,” says Dr. Richard Meloche, president of the Alcuin Institute for Catholic Culture, “It is seeing the world as the Church sees the world. This requires diligent study, ardent prayer and an intimate familiarity with the things of the past.” Read 


Throwback Thursday


Aesop, Truth, & Children by Cheryl Swope at Memoria Press. When we raise or teach young children, we must do so with the understanding that our Christian children are simultaneously citizens of a temporal realm and citizens of a heavenly realm. In both realms they are in need of Truth. In the temporal realm, Aesop’s fables have been prized as an ideal pedagogical vehicle. Read

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