Category Archives: Classical Education

Integrating the Arts and Sciences through Natural Philosophy

In A Natural Philosopher’s Lament, John Brungardt addresses the important role natural philosophy should play in properly integrating studies of science and the humanities: In the natural sciences, love and skill can be at odds. Curricula that overemphasize technical competence … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Education, Secondary Education, Math and Science, Science, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Parents as Educators/Models for Teachers

Back in November, I was honored to give a talk to parents in Denver for The First Educator series. I focused on how parents can draw on The Holy See’s Teachings on Catholic Schools to both aid them in choosing … Continue reading

Posted in Audio/Video, Classical Education, For Teachers | Leave a comment

Tolkien Essays

I just added a page featuring three of my essays on Tolkien’s works, which have meant so much to me from the time I encountered them as a teenager.

Posted in Classical Education, Literature | Leave a comment

Unexpected Classroom Enchantment

A few weeks ago, I was not looking forward to my morning class. Family health care issues had gotten me down, and I had little energy or inspiration for Sophomore Language. The translation assignment I had given them I did … Continue reading

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Towards Reforming High School Math and Science

…If I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done— I simply wouldn’t have the imagination … Continue reading

Posted in Math and Science, Quadrivium, Secondary Education | 1 Comment

Oliver Sacks — Imitation is source of originality

Impressive people report how much insight they have found in the works of neurologist Oliver Sacks, as in this article on BrainPickings.org: Sontag’s experience, Sacks argues, reflects the common pattern in the natural cycle of creative evolution — we learn … Continue reading

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Figurative Language and the Poetic Art

Many years ago, I was doing research in the Catholic University of America library, and by chance discovered Shakespeare’s Use of the Arts of Language by Sister Miriam Joseph. At first, I was overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Education, Languages, Literature, Secondary Education, Shakespeare, Subject areas, Trivium, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Classical education — “learning to read.”

In his Confessions, Augustine expresses gratitude for his classical education. Although he is highly critical of the pagan mythology that saturated his curriculum, he observes, “those primary lessons were better, assuredly, because more certain; seeing that by their agency I … Continue reading

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Jacques Barzun on Reading the “Classics”

Many readers will be familiar with Jacques Barzun from his monumental From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, which he completed at age 93. (Barzun died in 2012 at the ripe old age of 104!) Among his … Continue reading

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Feeding the Imagination of the Underprivileged

My work with Catholic schools has forced me to travel to an extent that I never imagined in my happily sedate teacher’s life.   I often compare today’s anonymous mode of travel, whether on land or through the air, with something … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Education, Elementary Education, For Teachers, Literature, Living It, Shakespeare | 1 Comment