Andrew Kern Sep 24, 2007
Perhaps the two leading debaters in the education world these days are ED Hirsch of Cultural Literacy fame and Howard Gardner, best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. I have been turning back to one book by each of them lately (The Disciplined Mind, by Howard Gardner and The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them, by E.D. Hirsch), and will be posting responses in the coming days. I do want to recommend both books as two of the most thoughtful representations of the two leading views on conventional education.
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Andrew Kern Sep 21, 2007
I just finished The Deathly Hallows again, this time taking the time to read more closely than during my first rush through it. Some initial reflections:
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Andrew Kern Sep 20, 2007
I've got a couple events coming up that I hope you can attend. This weekend I'll be presenting a Lost Tools of Writing Workshop at a Christian Writers' Conference here in Charlotte, at Southern Evangelical Seminary. Other presenters include Marvin Olaskey, Don Brown, Brian Godowa, and Catherine Claire. Click here for information.
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Andrew Kern Sep 20, 2007
“In our other classes we get in trouble when we want to talk about what we’re learning.” That from an article in Teacher Magazine about how to maintain classroom discipline and still smile. Short but insightful. Click here to read it (you might need to log in but it's free).
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Andrew Kern Sep 17, 2007
Modern thought resides in the realm of fantasy, perhaps nowhere moreso than on the question of authority. The Middle Ages are mocked for their constant appeal to authority, an appeal that Francis Bacon is supposed to have freed the human race from with his Novum Organon, an appeal to use the nascent scientific method of induction as the only source of truth. But on what basis do we mock the Medieval thinkers for their submission to authority? Somebody told us!
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Andrew Kern Sep 13, 2007
We'll be sending out a CiRCE Paper (our E-magazine) tomorrow with an article about how to teach The Iliad when you haven't read it. As with any hopefully useful article, not everything I wrote made it. So here are some deletions (by the way, if you don't receive The CiRCE Papers and would like to, click here and you can sign up for free and you'll receive our free E-book too):
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Andrew Kern Sep 13, 2007
I was watching a bit of Brannagh's Hamlet tonight and luxuriating in the language (some of which I understood) when my dear wife asked me for my opinion. "Do you think the groundlings actually understood what was going on in those plays?" To which I answered yes, but the reasons are probably another blog post. Then she asked for another opionion. Why do you think people today can't understand it? I must warn you, I'm about to say something that will sound caustic. You probably want to cover your children's ears while you read this.
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Andrew Kern Sep 12, 2007
Andrew Campbell wrote a wonderful book called The Latin-Centered Curriculum that describes a classical education that strives for simplicity and focus. On his web site he lists 10 foundational principles of classical education that I find compelling and sound. To spend a few months reflecting on them, asking, "What does this imply for the way I teach?" would be a profitable exercise for any teacher who wants her teaching to transform and not just to inform.
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Andrew Kern Sep 11, 2007
After today's earlier post I was browsing the web for some more Grimm news, when I came across this site. This is what happens when professionals get involved in teaching literature to children. Truly, I think the temptation is irreistable. Please don't teach this way. Maybe, if you have to feel grown up while you teach, do it in fourth grade. But why you'd want to I'm not sure.
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Andrew Kern Sep 10, 2007
I am continually amazed at the power of fairy tales to enliven a boy's childhood. Fairy tales might be the place where the folly and harm of impersonal knowledge is most easily seen. Here' Bruno Bettelheim in his magnificent book The Uses of Enchantment:
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