Author

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 Aug 10, 2015

On July 18th I stopped contemplating Harmony with about 250 colleagues, friends, and kindred spirits. On the 22nd, I drove up to the University of Kentucky for a week of Latin immersion, and from August 3-7 I was immersed even more deeply into the love of truth-seeking that is the CiRCE Apprenticeship. 

After each, I was physically exhausted and intellectually and spiritually nourished, stimulated, and aroused. Dozens of blog posts asked me to write them. Dozens of ideas raced around the spaces of the hollow caverns of my skull. Frustration and joy contended for my chest. 

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Andrew Kern Jul 20, 2015

Aristotle once wrote that “It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits.”

This is one of the most important principles of thought ever expressed - and one that has been almost universally neglected in our day, especially by those who oversee the ways we teach our children how to think.

We look for scientific precision when we study literature, for artistic judgment in math and spelling. When we assess, we look for statistical variation of immeasurable matters.

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Andrew Kern Jul 15, 2015

At the very first conference, in July 2002, Dr. Charles Reed presented a wonderful talk that he called "Reading as if for life," a title drawn from Dickens' David Copperfield. 

Today, July 15, 2015, Rod Dreher showed us what it means to read as if for life. He reflected through the day on the meaning of the title of his recent book How Dante Can Save Your Life. 

If you weren't here, I'm sorry you missed it. I'll write one or two things that impressed me, then ask others to add their insights. First, this:

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Andrew Kern Jul 13, 2015

From December 2008, so lacking in the mellowness of my late years: 

Speak all you like about the economic and political ideals of the contemporary school, the education they provide is an education for slaves. Consider this scenario:

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Andrew Kern May 22, 2015

If you are older than ten years old, you are a leader.

Leadership at its most essential is the act of shouldering the responsibility to make and implement decisions that affect other people. There are many other elements, like the ability to inspire, setting direction, etc., but those are all refinements of either making decisions or implementing them. 

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Andrew Kern Apr 30, 2015

I love that scene in the old Cecille B. Demille movie, The Ten Commandments, in which the Israelites are leaving Egypt: hundreds of people streaming out of captivity and heading into the wilderness where they will learn how to be a free people. 

A few hundred years after the Israelites left Egypt, King Solomon used the resources collected by King David to build a temple to replace the tabernacle made by those escaping Israelites. For about 400 years, pilgrims would gather for an annual pilgrimage to Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.

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Andrew Kern Apr 8, 2015

A while back we hosted a conference called A Contemplation of Rest in which we asserted that a Christian education has to take place in a state, not of anxiety, but of rest. 

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Andrew Kern Mar 23, 2015

Of the three general forms of education, classical, traditional, and conventional, the greatest contrasts are between conventional and classical education. What I mean by conventional is simply the way things are done in schools, generally speaking, these days. It has philosophical roots, but people tend not to think about them. 

In this post, I am going simply to list a few areas that classical and conventional education have in common and then express some differences. In future posts, I will try to develop some of these thoughts further. We'll see what happens. 

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Andrew Kern Mar 10, 2015

Classical education has a reputation for being elitist, a form of learning for the upper classes, used to keep their positions in society. As one who grew up nearly poor by American standards and who has spent his entire life in the lower middle class, I find myself both sympathetic and scornful of that view: sympathetic because there is no doubt that if I had gone to Phillips-Andover* I would have been given a more rigorous education, scornful because I have still been able to devote my life to seeking and spreading a classical education. 

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Andrew Kern Mar 8, 2015

Late 19th century and early 20th century industrialists had to prevent workers from making decisions, because that would interfere with productivity. The effect was to reduce the lives of the works to sub-human routines (it may be worth comparing that practice with Josh Gibb's article from yesterday about the place of liturgies!). 

The labor unions were formed to defend the workers from abuse, but to a great extent they accepted the industrialist premise. People should not have to make their own decisions. 

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