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Growth in Classical Education a Sign of Great Hope

Mar 20, 2024

Growth in Classical Education a Sign of Great Hope, Say Teachers by Tom Hoopes at Aleteia. How do you transform the culture? Start with education. “If we are going to transform our culture we are going to have to talk about God as a fact, as a reason for changing one’s conduct — and we especially have to do it in a classroom,” said Dale Ahlquist, who founded the first Chesterton Academy. The Chesterton academies have spread across America and now the world — including Iraq and Sierre Leone — and they are just one example of a revolution in classical education. “It was a little spark and now it’s a wildfire,” Ahlquist said. “And we’re seeing cultural change from the ground up as a result.” Read


End the Phone-Based Childhood Now by Jonathan Haidt at The Atlantic. Something went suddenly and horribly wrong for adolescents in the early 2010s. By now you’ve likely seen the statistics: Rates of depression and anxiety in the United States—fairly stable in the 2000s—rose by more than 50 percent in many studies from 2010 to 2019. The suicide rate rose 48 percent for adolescents ages 10 to 19. For girls ages 10 to 14, it rose 131 percent…By a variety of measures and in a variety of countries, the members of Generation Z (born in and after 1996) are suffering from anxiety, depression, self-harm, and related disorders at levels higher than any other generation for which we have data. Read


Pew Research: Nearly 75% of Teens Say they Often Feel ‘Happy’ and Peaceful’ When Separated from Their Phones by Madalaine Elhabbal at CatholicVote. According to a recent Pew Research study titled “How Parents and Teens Approach Screen Time,” a significant percentage of teens reported feeling “happy” or “peaceful” when they don’t have their phones. While the report of the study notes that “Teens encounter a range of emotions when they don’t have their phones,” 74% said they often or sometimes felt happy, and 72% said they often or sometimes felt peaceful when they did not have access to their phones. Read


Young People Aren’t Reading Classic Books. 3 Reasons Why That’s a Problem. by C.G. Jones at Intellectual Takeout. A 2015 study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that only 43 percent of adults report having read one unassigned piece of literature in the past year. Plus, a Test Prep Insight poll found that over 40 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 have not read any books in the previous year. Thus, it’s no wonder that these students were unfamiliar with many of the examples I tried to cite in freshman composition. The deficiencies of K-12 language arts are finding a parallel in higher education. Read


Montessori Religious Community Develops in North Dakota ‘To Serve Christ in the Child’ by Kate Quiñones at Catholic News Agency. Two years before her death, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870–1952) expressed her wish that a religious order would exist to promote and develop Montessori-style education. More than 70 years later, the Servants of the Children of the Light is now a reality, thanks to Mother Chiara Thérèse. Following “many years of personal discernment,” Mother Chiara brought the idea to her local Ordinary in Manden, North Dakota. Read


‘A Purposeful Day’: Helping Those with Down Syndrome Thrive Beyond the ‘Cliff of Adulthood’ by Alyssa Murphy at National Catholic Register. Although many companies across the country offer job training and employment, hours are typically only 10 to 12 each week for adults with special needs. So with this understanding and belief that families deserve better, A Purposeful Day was born and is now a thriving center of community and engagement among adults with not only Down Syndrome but other intellectual disabilities. “We tackle life skills to improve independence,” Ashbrook told the Register, adding that all of the participants have a sheer love for learning. Read


10th Anniversary of Annual Seminar: The Role of the Priest in Today’s Catholic School by Catholic World Report. The Catholic Education Foundation is hosting its tenth annual seminar on the role of the priest in today’s Catholic school from July 16-18, 2024. The intended audience is bishops, priests, and seminarians and is based on the conviction of Fr. Peter Stravinskas, executive director of CEF and frequent contributor to CWR, that the viability of Catholic schools is directly proportionate to the presence and activity of priests. Fr. Stravinskas recently spoke with CWR about the seminar, the role of clergy in Catholic schools, and the challenges facing priests in their work with parochial schools. Read 


NYT Report Concedes That Left-Wing COVID-19 Lockdown Policies Led to Generational Learning Loss by Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal. For school districts that stayed in remote learning through almost the entire 2020-2021 school year, math scores for students in third grade through eighth grade fell more than a half a grade behind. Generally, the longer a school district remained with remote learning, the further math and other test scores fell behind. It wasn’t just test scores that slipped. Students now exhibit more behavioral issues in classrooms. “Many schools are seeing more anxiety and behavioral outbursts among students. And chronic absenteeism from school has surged across demographic groups,” the report noted. Read


John Paul the Great Catholic University to Double Its Academic Space by Kate Quiñones at Catholic News Agency. The Catholic liberal arts college, located in Escondido, California, in the northern suburbs of San Diego, features hands-on creative programs in film, animation, design, music, and acting, as well as business entrepreneurship, combined with an education in theology, philosophy, and the humanities. The two new arts buildings will feature a new soundstage, an illustration studio, an acting rehearsal studio, additional classrooms, computer labs, and more. Read


From Fighter Pilot to Fighting for Faithful Catholic Education, Meet Walsh University President Tim Collins by Christopher Byrne at The Cardinal Newman Society. In this episode of The Cardinal Newman Society Podcast, Walsh University’s president Dr. Tim Collins discusses his rich background from being an Air Force fighter pilot to now advancing the 200-year-old charism of Walsh University’s mission to inspire students to become the nation’s next generation of leaders. Listen


Is There a Catholic Antidote to the Crisis in Higher Education? by Bishop Robert Barron and Dr. Matthew Petrusek. According to Fortune magazine, overall undergraduate enrollment experienced the steepest rate of decline on record from 2019 to 2022, and it has only worsened since then. There are several explanations, but one cause is entirely self-imposed: most universities and colleges have now replaced education with ideology, subverting the search for truth with political indoctrination. Today, we discuss the ideological takeover of higher education and how the Catholic conception of the university can help provide an antidote. Listen


Throwback Thursday


In Defense of Memorization by Michael Knox Beran at Catholic Education Resource Center on July 1, 2004. Kids need both poetry and memorization. As educators have known for centuries, these exercises deliver unique cognitive benefits, benefits that are of special importance for kids who come from homes where books are scarce and the level of literacy low. In addition, such exercises etch the ideals of their civilization on children's minds and hearts. The memorization and recitation of the classic utterances of poets and statesmen form part of a tradition of learning that stretches back to classical antiquity, when the Greeks discovered that words and sounds—and the rhythmic patterns by which they were bound together in poetry—awakened the mind and shaped character. Read

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