Andrew Kern Feb 9, 2009
Today the church commemorates a martyr from third century Antioch named Nicepheros. He was a layman who was close friends with a priest named Saprikios, and it is the story of Saprikios that grips me. It seems that these two had a falling out at one time and stopped speaking with each other. Hmm. I guess that happened in the early church too! After a while, Nicephoros tried to reconcile with Saprikios, but the priest would not accept his overtures. Here is where it gets interesting.
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Andrew Kern Feb 8, 2009
My daughter, Larissa, my wife, Karen, and I were hanging out at Brian and Shannon Phillips tonight where we talked about Plato's Republic with Josh and Rebekkah (sp?) Leland. It was an informal, casual conversation about important things like music, the formation of the soul, how to become a gentleman, stuff like that.
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Andrew Kern Feb 8, 2009
"Lord, have mercy on me the sinner." The Publican
Back in the 90's I used to hear people ask how we will prevent classically educated students from becoming proud. That was a good question, because knowledge puffs up and we put a lot of emphasis on knowledge. I hear the question less now, but I still think about it  a lot, if only because I see so much pride in myself. Growing up moderately poor, I remember thinking that money made people bad too. And of course we've all heard Lord Acton's misleading proverb: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
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Andrew Kern Feb 7, 2009
Ever since I was a kid I've had a fascination with the causes of historical change. Is it great men and women that change the world, or is it the world that produces great men and women? Was Thomas Carlyle right with his Romantic view when he said:
"The history of the world is but the biography of great men,"
Or did Herbert Spencer get it right with his more scientic approach:
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Andrew Kern Feb 7, 2009
I am increasingly amazed at the power of classical modes of instruction to enable students and even teachers to better understand ideas. During yesterday's apprenticeship phone call, Buck Holler, an apprentice from Geneva School of Manhatten, described how a kindergarten teacher applied the mimetic mode to guide her kindergarten students to understand what a polygon is. He said that when the lesson was over, the kids understood it so well they didn't need to do a worksheet.
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Andrew Kern Feb 6, 2009
As the sciences became more systematized, many prominent men began to insist upon their inclusion in the curriculum, and, in reply to the disciplinary argument of the conservative classicists, they urged that emphasis in education should be upon subject matter. Frank Graves, A History of Education in Modern Times, 1914
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Andrew Kern Feb 5, 2009

In the last post I discussed that idea that the decisions made by leaders and teachers in homes and schools should be purposeful ones. The idea is to have a framework in mind that provides a hierarchy of principles to prioritize certain ideas and decisions over others. Only then can we order our thoughts within the sphere of influence (homes for homeschoolers, schools for some, etc.) that we educate.

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Andrew Kern Feb 4, 2009
While I was in Austin, at Veritas Academy, we went through a discussion speculating about the signs used in addition (+ adds a vertical line to -, - subtracts the vertical line from +, = are two equal lines). It was pretty exciting for me, because it indicated that the signs actually do mean something. You can imagine the thrill I felt when I opened my History of Mathematics by Carl Boyer, opened it rather randomly, and read these marvelous confirming words by Robert Recorde (who, as we all know, made the two equal parallel lines the "equals" sign):
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Andrew Kern Feb 4, 2009

I received an e-mail today asking about standardized tests, and this was my response. I'm interested to hear what others have to say on this matter.

You are asking the right question and here are a few attempts by me to justify the standardized tests:

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Andrew Kern Feb 4, 2009
Bryan just showed me a very kind statement by Veritas School in Richmond, VA about our consulting work with them. I thought you might be interested in the perceived value of a CiRCE consultation at a very fine school. Here's an excerpt:
I believe that as a result of his visit and teaching, Veritas faculty are more prepared to offer a truly classical and Biblical education. It is also a catalyst for our curriculum review and documentation. Andrew helped us to see how the philosophical underpinnings and theory of what we do is amazingly practical.
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