Category Archives: Subject areas

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, 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

Posted in Classical Education, For Teachers, Languages, Literature, Secondary Education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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 | 1 Comment

Chastity seen through the Greeks

I have meditated often over the past years on what chastity is really like.  In our sex-obsessed times, our image of chastity can hardly help but be distorted.  Yet forming a proper image of the person we want to become … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Reflections on the Books | 3 Comments

Catholic gratitude for CS Lewis

The 50th anniversary of the death of CS Lewis is a fitting opportunity to recollect what Lewis has meant to many, many Catholics.  Aleteia invited a number of its board of experts to comment on this. I think that Lewis … Continue reading

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The courage of Oedipus

Having just led a powerful seminar on Oedipus Rex, in which I was moved to the verge of tears by Oedipus himself, the following words about the pervasiveness of lying in our political and social lives spoke even more loudly … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Living It | Leave a comment

Using discussions of Scripture to supplement Moral Theology

Since my first child entered high school, I have volunteered at St. Augustine Academy to help teach Moral Theology.  The first year, I simply used the Didache’s textbook, Our Moral Life in Christ, but found it unsuitable at provoking and … Continue reading

Posted in Secondary Education, Theology | 1 Comment

The Heavenly Goal of Sacred Theology

St. Thomas Aquinas begins his great work, the Summa Theologiae, with a question about the nature of Sacred Theology, which he prefers to call “sacra doctrina” or “sacred teaching”.  Formally what we are doing in Sacred Theology is studying the … Continue reading

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Stories in Don Quixote

“Idle Reader” is the way Cervantes chooses to address his audience at the beginning of the Prologue to Don Quixote, and it points to one of the background social problems of the work.  In the early seventeenth century Spain of … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Post-Secondary Education, Secondary Education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mathematics in Classical Education

Thomas Treloar of Hillsdale College gives a very helpful overview of the role of mathematics historically and in classical education.  I think more should be said about the difference in character between algebraically-based modern mathematics, which trains us to reason … Continue reading

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