Reverend Dr. Frank Prescott, founder and recently retired rector of the venerable all-boys school Justin Martyr, has been taking a walk with his young protege, the convalescent Brian Aspinwall. They were walking along the river, near the home of Dr. Prescott’s daughter, where, at Dr. Prescott’s insistence, Brian is residing while he returns to health. Dr. Prescott is not merely presiding over a younger man’s recovery from pneumonia; he is successfully speaking new life into Brian’s troubled soul and weakened faith.
We often get asked about the best books on education. So I asked around the office a bit. Here's what some of the folks on our team had to say.
To the classical thinker, vice lies at the opposite ends of a corresponding virtue (Aristotle's golden mean). A vice can be the manifestation of a virtue in extreme exaggeration or deprivation. Courage is an example of virtue. Its corresponding vices are impetuousness (the exaggeration), and pusillanimity (the deprivation). In post-Christian Christianity, doubt has unfortunately been elevated into a virtue and any type of certainty has been made a vice, a problem which can be traced back to Descartes.
Parables, somewhat open-endedly defined as “any saying or narration in which something is expressed in terms of something else” (Oxford English Dictionary, 1987), are sticky.
I’m certainly not the first to notice this nor, I’m sure, am I the first to use that word to describe them. But there’s no doubt in my mind: such “sayings” are sticky.
After twenty-plus years of establishing a school that was inspired by David Hicks’ Norms and Nobility, I still find hope in his work. During that time, I've watched some of our graduates crash into the culture and succumb to it, and I've had others return years later with that sparkle in their eye—that true love of learning and of Christ that was caught during their time at a classical Christian school. So, ”Is Classical Education Still Possible?” as Hicks asks in the 5th issue of CiRCE's magazine?
Here at CiRCE we believe there's strength in numbers. If the Christian classical renewal is going to be truly meaningful and lasting then we have to work together, wherever and in whatever setting we are teaching. In some ways we need to think of ourselves as one large community. So we thought why not explore that idea a little bit. In this first installment, we chat with Cindy Rollins -- experienced homeschooler and author of Mere Motherhood -- about what homeschoolers can learn from their counterparts in traditional schools.
As the school year comes to a close many of us are faced with sending high school graduates off into the wide world. The young people in whom we have invested so much time and energy will soon be on their own, more or less. Most of these young people will head off to college. Still others are in the midst of college searches and SATs and planning for the future. In both cases, the process can seem never-ending, like filling out paperwork for an insurance company or paying taxes. And, in the end, who knows if the right decision was made. Did these students choose the right college?
As an undergraduate, I studied mathematics, with the single ambition of teaching it to high school students who, except for getting into college, would also have no other use for it. The major was not easy. I remember one night when, instead of watching the Super Bowl, I spent the evening trying to maximize the area of an industrial building. But schlepping a six-pound Calculus book makes you look smarter and improves muscle tone, which was good, because, as it turns out, I never actually taught mathematics to high school students. At least it wasn't a total waste.
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:
When Dietrich Bonheoffer spoke at the 1934 ecumenical conference in Fano, Denmark he sent many of the delegates reeling. The Nazis had only been in control for one year, but Bonhoeffer was absolutely prescient in his understanding of what would come to pass in the near future if Christians did not take a stand against the National Socialist Church in Germany. He exhorted the Christians present at the conference: “It must be made quite clear—terrifying though it is—that we are immediately faced with the decision: National Socialist or Christian” (Metaxas, 234).