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Jun 20, 2024

Why Fairy Tales Are Essential Reading with Dr. Vigen Guroian

"The Votive Podcast from Word on Fire is an exploration of art and literature that sparks the imagination. Hosted by Haley Stewart, author, children’s book editor for Word on Fire Votive, and mom of four, each episode features an interview with a writer or artist about how to share beautiful art and good stories that evangelize the hearts and minds of young readers."

Why Fairy Tales Are Essential Reading with Dr. Vigen Guroian

"Why Fairy Tales Are Essential Reading with Dr. Vigen Guroian" by Haley Stewart at Word on Fire

Jun 13, 2024

What’s Wrong with Boys at School?

"Boys are not faring as well as girls in the classroom. Women outperform men in school in terms of school readiness in kindergarten, GPA, and increasingly in college enrollment and degree attainment. According to Richard Reeves, of the top 10% of students, two-thirds are girls. On the flip side, boys comprise nearly two-thirds of the bottom 10% of students. While boys outperform girls overall on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, girls perform better on the written and verbal portions of the exams while boys outperform on STEM subjects."

What’s Wrong with Boys at School?

What’s Wrong with Boys at School? by Tom Sarrouf, Jr. at Institute for Family Studies

Jun 6, 2024

Anxiety, Depression, Less Sleep … and Poor Academic Performance?

"Over the last decade, smartphones have become commonplace. Today, 95 percent of American teenagers have a supercomputer in their pocket. Jonathan Haidt, Jean Twenge, and others have brought necessary attention to the likelihood that smartphones and social media are partly to blame for the teenage mental health epidemic gripping our nation. It’s not a watertight case, because it’s nearly impossible to prove a causal relationship with a phenomenon as ubiquitous as this one. What scholars can say is that the sudden rise in teenage anxiety and depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide all happened at the same time that teenagers’ adoption of smartphones passed the 50 percent mark—around 2012 or 2013."

Anxiety, Depression, Less Sleep … and Poor Academic Performance?

"Anxiety, Depression, Less Sleep … and Poor Academic Performance?" by Michael J. Petrilli at Education Next

May 30, 2024

Why Teachers Are Fleeing Public Schools

"In 2007 I turned down a high-paying job in engineering to become a public school science teacher. I believed that making a difference in the lives of kids and maintaining the tradition of Western civilization would give my life meaning and value that money couldn’t measure. But I soon discovered that my ideals were often at odds with the school administration’s priorities. I wanted to teach; my administrators wanted to get the maximum number of students a diploma with the least amount of friction."

Why Teachers Are Fleeing Public Schools

"Why Teachers Are Fleeing Public Schools" by Jeremy Noonan at First Things

May 23, 2024

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

"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."

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

"A Teacher Did All He Could to Keep Kids Off Phones. He’s Quitting in Frustration." by Julie Jargon at The Wall Street Journal

May 16, 2024

Classical Education Is Taking Off. What’s the Appeal?

"Classical education has seen remarkable growth in recent years. Since the pandemic, hundreds of new classical schools have opened. Across the nation, it’s estimated that there are around 1,000 classical schools in operation today. These schools have tapped into a population of families attracted to their “back to the future” emphasis on the great books, traditional virtues, and the foundations of Western civilization. But it’s not always clear what this translates to in terms of pedagogy or practice. What’s driving the appeal? What’s happening in these classrooms? And where does this model fit in the educational landscape? To answer these questions, I reached out to Rob Jackson, the founder of Classical Commons, a web-based social network designed to further the advancement of classical schools. Here’s what he had to say."

Classical Education Is Taking Off. What’s the Appeal?

Classical Education Is Taking Off. What’s the Appeal? By Rick Hess at EducationWeek

May 9, 2024

This Is What Happened After Several Schools Banned Cellphones

"Banning cellphones in schools improved academics, reduced bullying, and reduced students’ need for counseling, a 73-page Norwegian paper found. Girls benefited the most from the policies. “Banning smartphones significantly decreases the health care take-up for psychological symptoms and diseases among girls,” Sara Sofie Abrahamsson, a postdoctoral researcher and the paper’s sole author, wrote in the abstract. Post-ban bullying among both genders decreases.”

This Is What Happened After Several Schools Banned Cellphones

"This Is What Happened After Several Schools Banned Cellphones" by Marina Zhang at The Epoch Times

May 2, 2024

Christless Classical Curricula

"Classical charter schools have surged in number over the past thirty years in response to the decreasing quality of education and the often-disordered learning environments of American public schools. Aided both by this decline and the abundance of state funding for education, classical charter schools are multiplying across the country. Such expansion has benefited many students and communities while also causing problems for others."

Christless Classical Curricula

"Christless Classical Curricula" by Helen Freeh at The Imaginative Conservative

Apr 24, 2024

Why Every High-Schooler Should Read Plato's Republic

"In the third episode of The Best Books with Andrew Zwerneman, he discusses Plato's great dialogue, The Republic. Why should every high-schooler read Plato's Republic? Watch to the end to find out."

Why Every High-Schooler Should Read Plato's Republic

"Why Every High-Schooler Should Read Plato's Republic" by the Cana Academy Team at Cana Academy

Apr 17, 2024

The Futile War Against School Choice

Last week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments between the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board and the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Advocacy Coalition (OKPLAC). On one side, the school board defended its decision to include St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School in their network and fund it like any other public charter school…On the other side, the lawyers for OKPLAC argued that this was mixing church and state and could result in “discriminatory practices, such as students being treated differently for their religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability—as well as not providing adequate services for students with disabilities.”

The Futile War Against School Choice

"The Futile War Against School Choice" by Auguste Meyrat at The American Mind

Apr 10, 2024

Classical Education: Self-Study or Personal Response?

"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. "

Classical Education: Self-Study or Personal Response?

"Classical Education: Self-Study or Personal Response?" by Andrew J. Zwerneman at Cana Academy

Apr 3, 2024

What Is the Purpose of Poetry?

"In today’s educational milieu, it seems that poetry, particularly religious poetry, is either made a cadaver onto which cultural theorists impose an ideology or seen as mere ornamentation with no value in a world socially determined by economic utility and bottom lines. Poetry was once understood to be an anthropological episteme, a way of knowing, if only through a glass darkly. It was seen, even in the blind but percipient eyes of Homer, as a mimetic art representing the truth of our nature in relation to supernature."

What Is the Purpose of Poetry?

"What Is the Purpose of Poetry?" by Cicero Bruce at New Oxford Review

Mar 27, 2024

Inside the New Wave of Old-School Education

"Amid growing claims that schools indoctrinate students, ‘classical education’—which teaches kids to think critically and master old books—is making a comeback…While this time-honored approach to education has fallen out of favor in recent decades—as many American schools have prioritized ideology and equal outcomes over excellence—it is now making a big comeback across the country. This is driven not only by parents’ growing realization of the old system’s academic failures but a sense that contemporary campus culture lacks much in the way of moral vision."

Inside the New Wave of Old-School Education

"Inside the New Wave of Old-School Education" by Julia Steinberg at The Free Press

Mar 20, 2024

Growth in Classical Education a Sign of Great Hope

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.”

Growth in Classical Education a Sign of Great Hope

"Growth in Classical Education a Sign of Great Hope, Say Teachers" by Tom Hoopes at Aleteia

Mar 13, 2024

Parents Must Wake Up to the Dangers of Screen Addiction

"Melanie Hempe is the founder of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based organization ScreenStrong, which is aimed at preventing and reversing screen addiction in children and young people. She is also the mother of sons. One son, Adam, her eldest, developed a video game addiction, which eventually became the impetus behind ScreenStrong, and the basis of a spiel she now gives at ScreenStrong events… ScreenStrong medical advisor Dr. Adriana Stacey, who often co-presents with Hempe at events…said her preferred approach to social change is the one often attributed to Mother Teresa—“If you want to bring peace to the world, go home and love your family”—and she sees much of the harm from screens coinciding with the breakdown of the American family."

Parents Must Wake Up to the Dangers of Screen Addiction

"Parents Must Wake Up to the Dangers of Screen Addiction" by Maggie Phillips at Word on Fire.

Mar 6, 2024

The Eucharist and Catholic Education

"The order with which God has created the universe is really amazing once you start to see it. It’s like one of those huge puzzles with little pieces each of which has some lovely colors, but they don’t really make sense until you start to fit them together and you realize what an incredible picture they make. And it is for this reason, among others, that the Eucharist should be at the center of every Catholic school…In classes, we talk about God. Or we talk about God’s handiwork in Creation. But in the Eucharist, God comes to us in person, in the person of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen."

The Eucharist and Catholic Education

"The Eucharist and Catholic Education" by Randall Smith at The Catholic Thing

Feb 29, 2024

Our Unhappy Youth

"Many young people appear to have fallen into the most antihuman way of life that any civilization has ever settled into…Those in the pharmaceutical industry are aware of the vein of gold that depression has opened up, with ordinary and unhappy people plying the pickax. That shouldn’t surprise any sensible Christian, who ought to know where some measure of earthly happiness is to be found, even for those who do not know Christ. "

Our Unhappy Youth

"Our Unhappy Youth" by Anthony Esolen at Crisis Magazine

Feb 21, 2024

The Theft of Education

In this episode of New Discourses Bullets, host James Lindsay shares Jennifer McWilliams’s example of how a simple subtraction lesson can be turned into any number of political conversations about poverty, race, sex, gender, sexuality, family, parental authority or climate change...by a manipulative teacher-activist using the Freirean generative themes approach.

The Theft of Education

"The Theft of Education" by James Lindsay at New Discourses

Feb 14, 2024

Raising Catholic Kids: New Study Suggests What Successful Parents Have in Common

Data cited by the researchers show that the number of people who remain practicing Catholics after being raised Catholic in the United States has been steadily declining for decades. In the 1970s, an average of 36 percent of those who were raised Catholic remained Catholic as adults and attended Mass weekly, peaking at 40 percent in 1977. By the 2010s, that figure was just 15 percent…Among those raised Catholic who leave the faith, about half become religiously unaffiliated and the other half adopts a new religious affiliation. The median age at which these former Catholics said they made the decision to leave the faith was 13, the researchers said.

Raising Catholic Kids: New Study Suggests What Successful Parents Have in Common

"Raising Catholic Kids: New Study Suggests What Successful Parents Have in Common" by Jonah McKeown at The Arlington Catholic Herald

Feb 8, 2024

A Phony Education

Far from making us better members of our clan, the smartphone makes us serfs to surfing, bound more surely—in our case, to algorithmic feeds—than those Indo-European prisoners of war who were the opposite of *priHós so many thousands of years ago. Jon Haidt’s Substack After Babel has presented extensively researched articles on the effects of social media on the most recent generations, especially those now college-aged. The results are not good. Essentially, mental health declines in a direct proportion to how early in life someone starts using a phone and how much time they spend on it. The freedom of communication, of being able to “look up” anything at any time, or “link up” with anyone for any reason, is not freedom.

A Phony Education

"A Phony Education" by Julian Kwasniewski at Crisis Magazine

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