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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Andrew Kern Sep 8, 2007
As I have blogged twice about Harry Potter, both with qualifications for Rowling's greatness, I think I should add something that has struck me recently and which I consider one of her great powers: the ability to engage sympathetically with the inner workings of the human mind.
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Andrew Kern Sep 8, 2007
Here's a good little article from Kathy Ireland (the Christian Martha Stewart) with some appealing ideas for preparing lunch for your child (or for your child to prepare for himself) during school.
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Andrew Kern Sep 7, 2007
Of course, a lot of people would ask, "Why to teach Harry Potter?" and they're right to ask. The reason is because kids are reading it. That doesn't mean you should make kids read it who otherwise wouldn't (it isn't THAT good), but for those who are, it would make for good discussion. There are two big issues with Harry Potter: One, whether it expresses a sound "worldview" and two, whether it is well-written.
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Andrew Kern Sep 7, 2007
Charlotte Mason spoke of Living Ideas. James Taylor developed the ideas of John Senior and others under the concept of Poetic Knowledge. Michael Polanyi wrote an important book called Personal Knowledge. Christian de Quincey pushed a lot farther with his book Radical Knowing, looking to eastern mysticism for his foundations.
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Andrew Kern Sep 7, 2007
If you were writing a fairy tale/fantasy a la Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald, even Rowling, would you give magical powers to the humans in the story? Why? Comment and let me know!
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Andrew Kern Sep 7, 2007
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket  Big news in the film industry last month: Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet came out on DVD at long last. I loved Mel Gibson's 1990ish version of this play, but so much was edited that the story wasn't the same. Brannagh includes every line from the text he uses and it's well worth the four hours of viewing time. The music is fabulous too.
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Andrew Kern Sep 6, 2007
How are piety and wonder related? Twin sisters? Mother/daughter? Siamese twins? Can one live without the other? Does one give birth to the other?
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