Andrew Kern Jun 5, 2008
Currently, the Peanuts comic strip by the late Charles Shulz stands out as a source of great wisdom and insight in our culture. I say this with partial sarcasm, only partial. One particular strip showed Sally in Sunday School class, her teacher before her. He began, “Today we are going to discuss Church history. What do you know about Church history, Sally?” She thought. Finally, she spoke up, “Well, I know our pastor is about 50…” Tragic insight. Tragic, accurate insight from Shulz.
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Andrew Kern Jun 2, 2008
For many, the quest to know the truth is a purely rational quest. Thus, for example, Rene Descartes resolution to begin by doubting everything - all that he was told, and everything he perceived with his senses. Only by reasoning could he come to know the truth. It's easy to see why we would think this way. Truth is generally perceived as something we gain through intellectual endeavors.
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Andrew Kern Jun 2, 2008

A little over one year ago, I became blessed and immersed into fatherhood.  From what I have been told, it is always this way – overwhelmed by joy and terror, hope and responsibility.  The thought of all I must teach and instill in my daughter regularly traipses across my mind.  Yet, in the midst of my often weighty musings on this subject, I have come to notice that she is quite a teacher herself.  So, while reflecting on her firs

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Andrew Kern May 21, 2008
For a faculty to grow, it needs tools and forums in which to develop. David Hicks spoke of this as The School Within The School. I came across this fine article on-line today about the value to faculty of reading a book together and discussing it. I hope you are doing something like this already. We recommend reading Norms and Nobility by David Hicks.
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Andrew Kern May 20, 2008
When a teacher is afraid to think her own thoughts, she cannot possibly teach classically. If she wants a text book to tell her what to think, if she can't dig into the subject or artifact beyond what the text book publisher tells her, if she doesn't continually learn, if she can't unfold the heart of the story then all she can do is sit brooding on the surfact of her own life with little to offer her students, year after year after year.
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Andrew Kern May 15, 2008

 

In the world of higher academia, the old adage “publish or perish” is a guiding principle (even if somewhat stereotypical and exaggerated).  Why the emphasis on publishing? 

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Andrew Kern May 14, 2008
Not only the child and his knowledge are reduced by Progressivism. So are what we used to call virtues. Nietzsche reduced virtues to values to underscore his theory that we all have our own values which are dynamic and relative. No adult has the right to impose values on a child because values themselves are unstable. What you claim to value may be exposed by experience as a sham. What you do value may be altered by experience.
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Andrew Kern May 14, 2008
For the Progressive theorist, education is one great, extended experiment for which society is bound to pay. Here in America the progressive experiments (it would not be just to call it a single experiment) have continued for nearly 100 years, during which the inevitable resistance and the internal contradictions of progressive theory have convinced many that the assumptions of Progressive education need to be re-examined.
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Andrew Kern May 12, 2008

Brightest Heaven of Invention, a book by Dr. Peter Leithart, was composed as a guide through some of Shakespeare’s greatest writings.  The book was quite insightful in its treatment of Shakespeare, but I found Leithart’s preliminary comments about the importance of literature even more helpful. 

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Andrew Kern May 11, 2008
Five ideas that distingiuish Classical education from conventional:
  1. A unifying principle that orders all learning, thus an integrated, proportioned course of learning
  2. Recognition of the transforming power of ideas, thus an emphasis on training students to contemplate ideas rather than merely retain content or master processes
  3. Virtue as the end of education, rather than mere application, thus a concerted and rigorous effort to cultiavate every human faculty in every student
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