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 Mar 7, 2015

Some people want things more centralized and some people want things decentralized. It would be nice if it could be one or the other, but as with all things, we have to know the "thing" being organized before we can know how centralized it ought to be. We also need to know what centralization means. 

Andrew Kern Feb 16, 2015

Archimedes famously said, “Give me a lever and I can move the world.”

The world has been moved.

The lever by which the world has been moved is an idea, and that idea is “nature.”

Two hundred some years ago, our forefathers founded on this continent a new nation, conceived in “the law of nature and of nature’s God.” Not very long ago, a prospective supreme court justice was more or less derided for having appealed to the natural law in earlier decisions.

The world has been moved.

Andrew Kern Feb 12, 2015

Modern progressive education produces slaves. It does so by remembering the following principles. 


1. A slave’s education is coercive

2. ​The slave is not told why he is being forced to be educated

3. A slave’s education keeps the slave dependent on the thoughts of others

4. A slave’s education keeps the slave weak

5. A Slave’s education prepares him to work for others instead of preparing him to work for himself

Andrew Kern Jan 26, 2015

The holy grail of classical education is the integrated curriculum. What a chalice that would be!

Two things have kept us from finding it. The first is that we've been looking in the wrong place. The second is that there hasn't been an integrating tool. 

First, we've been looking in the wrong place. Put simply, I mean that we have been looking at the content of our curriculum in terms of the material we cover. The information, the checklists, the data - if you like. 

Andrew Kern Jan 20, 2015

I got to meet a neighbor today and we struck up a conversation about his business and what we do at CiRCE. When I started to talk about education and how we don't focus on wisdom and virtue, I expected him to tune out. Instead he described how one of his employees didn't know what a customer meant when she was asked to divide something by 1/3. 

He said we need well-rounded people who can make "educated decisions." 

Andrew Kern Jan 14, 2015

Until catholic Institutions throw off the yoke of the accrediting boards, and exercise a free judgment on basic educational questions, they will never be able to realize in practice any of the principles which belong to Catholic education.

Reforming Education: The Order of Learning, page 185, 186

Andrew Kern Jan 14, 2015

Careful observation has confirmed that there are five paths to writing excellence. Neglect of any one of them will undermine a writer’s potential.

They are:

  • The Theoretical path
  • The Practical path
  • The Critical path
  • The Literary Path
  • The Linguistic Path

I suspect that some readers may have a visceral reaction to the inclusion of the theoretical path, so I’d better say a word or two about it.

Andrew Kern Jan 12, 2015

We think to determine three things: whether something is true, whether something should be done, and whether something commands our appreciation. In other words, we think to know truth, goodness, and beauty.

In each case, a judgment is made. A judgment is embodied in a decision and expressed in a proposition.

When we know the truth, we don’t need to think about it so much as to enjoy it. When we know what is good, we need to act, which will arouse a thousand more questions, few of which will reach the conscious mind. When we know what is beautiful, we need to adore.

Andrew Kern Jan 8, 2015

The church prays Psalm 3 thus:

Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! 
Many are they that rise up against me. 
Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God.


But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me;
My glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
I cried unto the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me out of His holy hill.


Andrew Kern Dec 12, 2014

I have hardly been able to write blogs for the past few months because of how busy we've been here at CiRCE and one of the things that has been consuming my mind and energy is this update to LTW. 

Over the last day or two I've both drawn back to look at the whole project and drilled deep on some details. I have to tell you, self-serving as it might sound, this improvement is amazing. Leah Lutz has been in charge of the project and we might have to pay a lot for the monument over her tomb when she finally can't take it any more, but it will be worth every penny.