Killing Socrates: The Death of a Great Books Program

By |2019-03-09T09:22:14-05:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Culture, Education, Great Books, Humanities, John Senior, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Wyoming Catholic College|

Few people know that in the early 1970s a “great books” program, founded by John Senior and two other professors, flourished at a large state university in the midwest. Even fewer know of its slow demise. Editor’s Note: Robert Carlson was a student and friend of John Senior, one of three founders of the [...]

With Gratitude to a Sentinel of Classical Learning

By |2019-01-19T22:30:00-05:00January 19th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

From time to time, there is the need for sentinels of classical learning, individuals who, if one is fortunate to be around them, beckon the meandering intellect back to the pursuit of the truth, the discovery of the good, and the conservation of the beautiful. In the end, the student is invited to the quest [...]

An Education to Restore Wonder

By |2018-12-29T23:07:55-05:00December 29th, 2018|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Education, Great Books, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Wyoming Catholic College|

We’ve reached a time when fewer and fewer on the outside know what the liberal arts are, or the value of them to the individual person, an organization, and the marketplace of ideas. In an age when people are so focused on science and technology via “STEM” subjects, we’ve lost our sense of wonder… [...]

A Classical Educational Creed

By |2018-12-28T22:20:55-05:00December 28th, 2018|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Education, Liberal Arts|

Classical educators agree on the ends of liberal education, namely, the possession of the true, good, and beautiful, wisdom, and the development of the intellectual and imaginative powers that enable their attainment. But the pedagogical means to these ends are less obvious. Here is an attempt to set out a set of principles and [...]

The Liberal Arts vs. Progressive Education

By |2019-03-28T11:44:05-05:00April 26th, 2018|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Humanities, Liberal Arts|

Search the web and you will find any number of lofty “purposes of education:” Education enables us to develop to the fullest. Education cultivates the human mind with values and principles. Education teaches us to think and analyze the world. And many more… But even those vapid platitudes greatly exceed the reality of modern American [...]

How Should Classical Schools Teach STEM?

By |2018-10-23T13:06:18-05:00June 23rd, 2017|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Common Core Curriculum, Education, Liberal Learning, Mathematics, Science, Technology|

Trying to put science in a classical paradigm is putting new wine into old wineskins. Modern science just does not easily fit into a classical paradigm… STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math, is the newest acronym for what is considered a great education, and it often leads to a satisfying and financially rewarding [...]

The Classical Tradition in Antebellum America

By |2019-03-10T14:03:22-05:00May 16th, 2017|Categories: Books, Christian Kopff, Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Featured|Tags: , |

The classical curriculum remained the educational gold standard in nineteenth-century America. In fact, its influence grew, as women’s academies with a classical curriculum were founded all over the expanding nation… The Golden Age of the Classics in America: Greece, Rome, and the Antebellum United States by Carl J. Richard (Harvard University Press, 2009) With [...]

What Is Education?

By |2016-10-28T12:13:55-05:00September 24th, 2016|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Featured, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Wyoming Catholic College|

It is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation. —St. Thomas Aquinas The trouble with mere pragmatism is that it doesn’t work. —G.K. Chesterton What is education? I emphasize “is” because I am not here asking what education is thought to be, or [...]

The Protestant Heritage of Classical Humanism: Melanchthon & Cicero

By |2019-07-09T10:46:16-05:00August 17th, 2016|Categories: Christian Humanism, Cicero, Classical Learning|

Here is the grand fact that Protestant theologians always overlook. They, in reality, always present nature and grace as two antagonistic powers, and suppose the presence of the one must be the physical destruction of the other. Luther and Calvin, weary of the good works, and shrinking from the efforts to acquire the personal [...]

Why Liberal Education in a Capitalist Society?

By |2016-03-26T13:04:21-05:00February 17th, 2016|Categories: Christopher B. Nelson, Classical Education, Classical Learning, Education, Featured, Imagination, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

As the president of an American college with a distinctive approach to liberal learning, I have watched from afar with great interest as curiosity has grown in Europe about liberal, as opposed to specialized, higher education. That curiosity has now culminated in this gathering, where we are sharing our thoughts about grounding an education [...]

The Twilight of the Professors

By |2015-04-29T07:45:13-05:00August 21st, 2013|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Conservatism, Culture, Education, Liberal Learning|Tags: |

The traditional ideal of the professor—a vaguely eccentric, impractical seeker of truth always teetering, like the Greek philosopher Thales, on the brink of some well or other—has all but disappeared. Though obviously a caricature, this stereotype at least captured the essence of what a professor should be: someone whose life is passionately consumed with [...]

The Classics and the Traditional Liberal Arts Curriculum

By |2019-03-10T14:19:22-05:00March 21st, 2013|Categories: Christian Kopff, Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Education, Featured, Liberal Learning|Tags: , |

Before I started writing this essay, I went to University of Colorado library and took out one of the best books in English on education, Albert Jay Nock’s Theory of Education in the United States (1932). It is significant for our topic that, while Nock‘s irritable tirade, Our Enemy, the State, is easily available [...]

The Importance of Marcus Tullius Cicero

By |2019-04-09T15:37:11-05:00February 25th, 2013|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Featured, Liberal Learning, Natural Law|

How do I define the Natural Law? Taking my cue from Cicero—especially from On the Republic, On Duties, and On the Laws—I can state that Natural Law theory argues that there is a supreme being who holds everything together through his love or his force or his will or whatever it might be that [...]