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 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. 

Andrew Kern Dec 6, 2014

Picture this:

A great lake is nesting in an alpine valley where it flows calmly through a natural dam into the surrounding world. In the lake is a well-ordered hierarchy of fish and plant life that have found the places and relations where they flourish. 

One day an earthquake destroys the dam and the fish and much of the plant life are violently rushed down the mountainside. 

That is what happened to the Christian classical mind. 

Andrew Kern Oct 15, 2014

The Iliad, Homer tells us, is about the rage of Achilles and the will of Zeus, and about how these two interact with each other. Quoting Lattimore:

Sing goddess the anger of Peleus son Achilleus
And its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,
Hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls
of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting
of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished...

Andrew Kern Sep 11, 2014

A response to an article about the "grit narrative" by an Independent School leader:

If I were to write a book about student motivation and teaching approaches, I would call it The Pharisee and the Prodigal. This is why.

I am deeply concerned, and have had this concern renewed while reading chapter 7 in Norms and Nobility for the Apprenticeship, with the need in our self-identified democracy that "the masses" - those despised and used children of the poor especially - need a classical education. Here's Hicks:

Andrew Kern Sep 8, 2014

The mind rooted in faith operates differently from the mind rooted in doubt.* Doubt, interestingly, comes from the Latin "dubitas," which can as easily be translated "fear." In Elizabethan times, that correlary was not obscure, as you can see when you read, for example, Hamlet. 

Andrew Kern Aug 27, 2014

This afternoon, I will be participating in a Podcast on Hamlet in which I hope to invite people to read Shakespeare's play and to look for what is obvious. Meanwhile, I'm reading the Iliad for the Apprenticeship and have been thinking quite a bit about how to read and to teach it.