Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the founder and president of The CiRCE Institute and the co-author of the book, Classical Education: the Movement Sweeping America

Andrew Kern Nov 4, 2013
Leigh Bortins and Classical Conversations demonstrate their commitment to the classical spirit by their continued growth in insight and discernment. Her new book, The Question, is a testimony to the wisdom that can be gained by somebody who takes what she knows, steps out in courage, and keeps learning every step of the way. Classical conversations will retain its leadership and influence in the Christian classical renewal because of their hunger to learn. 
Andrew Kern Oct 31, 2013

I find myself thinking that criticism, when it is justified at all, still arises from impatience. Or mabye it is better to say that a critical spirit, justified or not, arises from impatience. 

We are critical when we assume the position of the judge.

Andrew Kern Oct 21, 2013

The best American schools have yet to remember why western civilization introduced “school” as the foundation of that civilization. Mostly, that is because the more we talk about school, the less we do it.

Andrew Kern Oct 8, 2013

If knowledge sets you free, then the teacher is a servant. If knowledge is power, then the teacher is master. 

Andrew Kern Oct 7, 2013

When a pompous lord slips on a banana peel it is comedy. When he looks you in the eye and says, "Dammit, help me up," the spell is broken. Mercy departs. Comedy scoffs and leaves. 

Andrew Kern Sep 27, 2013

I spent last Friday and Saturday in the hospital and that has turned this week into a long bout of catching up and getting myself back in rhythm. It probably wasn't a big deal, so we haven't made much of it here at CiRCE, but I do feel I owe an explanation and that I should prevent this from growing into more than it was. So here's the story. 

Andrew Kern Sep 27, 2013

The heart of the difference between classical and conventional education is not in curriculum or teaching methods, though those are effected. The heart of the issue is in goals and beliefs. Our practices often entangle us so much that we can't get back to the things that matter most. 

The biggest difference is theological. Conventional education is ultimately nihilistic, believing that we live in a great meaningless vacuum. Classical education, Christian or philosophical, rests on the foundation of Being. Everything, quite literally follows from this. 

Andrew Kern Sep 19, 2013

In the comments section for this week's post on teaching reading I was asked how I would teach reading to children who are still learning to sound words out. I figured I would share my response here since this is a question we get fairly frequently. This is what I said . . .

I would do a few things:

Andrew Kern Sep 16, 2013

I was watching a bit of Brannagh’s Hamlet tonight and luxuriating in the language (some of which I understood) when my dear wife asked me for my opinion: “Do you think the groundlings actually understood what was going on in those plays?”

I said I thought they did (but that's probably a subject for another blog post).

Then she asked for another opinion: Why do you think people today can’t understand it?

I must warn you, I’m about to say something that will sound caustic. You probably want to cover your children’s ears while you read this.

Andrew Kern Sep 13, 2013
  • It’s always an exploration but never a scientific experiment
  • It's both dialectical and dogmatic, but never tyrannical
  • It feeds on tradition, but is always looking for deeper perceptions and new applications