Kristen Rudd Sep 30, 2019

Now that we’ve been back at school for several weeks, there is a certain type of Facebook post that has become commonplace amongst my friends whose children go to school: the drop-off and pick-up line angst post.

This should really be a Facebook post genre in its own right, up there with posts about politics, extreme weather, and arguments about obeying the gods.

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Josh Mayo Aug 5, 2019

Is Shakespeare a moral enigma? Many critics have thought so. Take the late Anthony Nuttall, who contended that “we have no idea what Shakespeare thought, finally, about any major question”—or Harold Bloom, who has argued that the Bard was “too wise to believe anything.” Such remarks challenge Shakespeare enthusiasts: When a play like Twelfth Night contains such a diverse cast of characters, such a motley crew of moral viewpoints, how can we know which characters represent the playwright? How can we know what Shakespeare thinks?

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Kristen Rudd Aug 2, 2019

It is pivotal that we read the right stories to our children when they are young so they will learn three things. The first is to never get involved in a land war in Asia. The second is to never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. And the third is to never—never—accept and eat any food that is offered to you by a witch.

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Mar 26, 2019

“There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some time, but he did not hurry with his preparations”: so begins Tolkien’s short story “Leaf by Niggle.” 

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Brian Phillips Apr 5, 2017

“Friendship is a necessity.”

So opens Book VIII of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Friendship, he says, “is a kind of virtue, or implies virtue, and it is also most necessary for living. Nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things.”

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Jamie Cain Aug 5, 2015

The results of a new study in Australia highlight a perennial concern in education: significant education gaps in the classroom. The Australia study suggests gaps of 5-8 years in a single classroom, or, to put it in American terms, where students expected to do 7th grade math have not mastered 1st grade concepts. One of the study’s authors writes:

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Danny Breed May 18, 2015
  • The nature of a child and education come together, either to mar the child or to help the child flourish. When a child is not taught according to his or her nature, it is like cutting against the grain, dulling the knife and marring the wood. Yet when a child’s instruction aligns with his or her nature, the process is beautiful and the child thrives. Parents and teachers must understand the nature of a child so that their teaching can harmonize with that nature and cultivate him or her into a virtuous and flourishing adult. 
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Andrew Kern Mar 7, 2014

The Meno by Plato begins with the direct and forthright question, "Can virtue be taught?"

It ends with the conclusion, stated by Socrates, that it is a gift from the gods. Which, if he is right, is a wise thing to say. And if he just spent a whole dialogue guiding Meno to that conclusion, then he has just led him along the path to wisdom. 

Not that Meno has arrived (or that Socrates thought he had), but that he has progressed. He has, if he has a willing soul, moved in the direction of becoming wiser. 

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Joshua Leland Nov 13, 2013
Maybe it's because I've been reading Chesterton (and John Donne) but I've been thinking about paradox--and in particular how virtue is inherently paradoxical. 
 
Virtues often--if not always--require a negative, un-virtuous impulse in order to exist most fully and develop into their highest potential. That's quite a claim, so let me back it up with a few examples:
 
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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.

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