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History & Memory: Two Habits, One Humanity

Jun 27, 2024

History & Memory: Two Habits, One Humanity by Andrew J. Zwerneman at Cana Academy. History is a liberal discipline, a field of study. Aristotle, the father of the liberal arts, never developed a full account of history as either an art or a science. When, however, we consider the centrality of narrative in history we rightly conclude that it is sometimes an art, as historian Bernard Bailyn puts it, sharing with drama, novels, and stories a strong narrative component. We note too how history is akin to rhetoric, since, as Aristotle teaches, rhetoric relies on examples drawn from the past. Read 

Eleven Common Questions for an Art Teacher by Peter Vitz at The Heights Forum. God is the perfect artist. He creates beauty at every scale and in every context we’re willing to find it. Our job as cooperators in his creation is to represent that beauty to the world… and that’s hard. Every earthly artist is going to struggle—that’s the nature of attempting anything good. What a joy it is, therefore, having the job of helping our sons push through that struggle and find the satisfaction of co-creating through art. This has been a passion of mine which unites the various steps in my career from advertising to architecture to homeroom teacher. Having taught art for a decade now, I’ve heard from many parents eager to foster their son’s skills and appreciation of art. Read


A Catholic Family Summer, Part I: Nurturing a Love for Reading by Holy Spirit Preparatory School Team. The arrival of summer often brings a lengthy wishlist of growth-focused projects and goals to be accomplished – for ourselves and our children. The pressure of having a “productive” summer can often become daunting. In this three-part blog series, we aim to ease the burden and share joyful, simple ways to nourish the minds and hearts of our children and ourselves during the summer months. Read


Celebrate The Summer Feast of St. John The Baptist by Whitney Hetzel at Good Catholic. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist—his feast day—is celebrated on June 24th. Hosting a bonfire or having a campfire with your family is a simple and wonderful way to celebrate this special saint this summer! Afterwards, you can close the evening with an intercessory prayer. It’s a devout way to inaugurate the arrival of summer while honoring the “voice in the wilderness” who announced the arrival of Christ to the world. Read


Wit, Learning, and Virtue: The Legacy of Civil Servant, Thomas More by Belmont Abbey College. In this new, free online course from Belmont Abbey College, you’ll have the opportunity to join Judge Robert Conrad, Dr. Joe Wysocki, Dr. Ian Crowe, and Hillsdale College’s Dr. Shaun Rieley as they explore the life, death, and thought of St. Thomas More, the “man for all seasons.” Discover what this great saint still has to teach us, in our own particular place and time. Read 


Oklahoma Supreme Court Declares First-of-Its-Kind Religious Charter School Unconstitutional by Haley Strack at National Review. Oklahoma’s state supreme court ruled on Tuesday that the nation’s first publicly funded religious charter school, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, is unconstitutional. Charter schools are required to be “nonsectarian in their programs, admission policies, and other operations,” the court wrote. Oklahoma’s Charter School Board approved St. Isidore’s application to become a virtual charter school in June last year, and the school was slated to open in fall 2024. Read


Education Reform With a Cajun Twist by Kim Strassel, Kyle Peterson and Dan Henninger at The Wall Street Journal. The roll of states that have embraced education freedom keeps expanding. On Wednesday Gov. Jeff Landry officially made Louisiana the 12th to pass universal school choice. At Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette, he signed education savings accounts into law. Called LA GATOR—for Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise—all the state’s students will ultimately be eligible for the scholarships. Read


New York Legislature Seeks to Require Catholic, Private Schools to Recognize Preferred Pronouns by Catalina Scheider Galinanes at National Catholic Register. The “Nonpublic Dignity for All Students Act” in the New York State Senate threatens to require Catholic schools to recognize chosen “gender identities” that may contradict a student’s biological sex…Cardinal Dolan writes that the proposed legislation would “force us to deny the inherent difference between boys and girls,” thus leaving New York Catholic schools vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits for enforcing male and female bathroom policies, sports teams, and uniforms on the basis of biological sex. Read


Throwback Thursday


Close Reading in the Classroom by Andrew Ladd at First Things. Too often, the teaching of English literature lacks the developmental sense that other disciplines have. As you go from a basic English course to an advanced one, it isn’t clear how one step builds on the other. Each math course, for instance, presumes knowledge developed in previous courses, and other humanities fields have a graduated curriculum. Foreign language teachers have a system that guides students up the ladder of competence. Students of Latin first learn vocabulary and grammar, then read remedial texts slowly and carefully, and then progress to more complex authors. The same goes for music instruction. There is a clear path from new learner to advanced player. But teachers of literature find little consensus of what constitutes competence, let alone how one might guide students on a path to mastery. Read

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