Kelsie Stewart Sep 18, 2019

The Pietà is my favorite work of art. I’ve always thought it was beautiful, but since I listened to a lecture by Jordan Peterson,1 Michelangelo’s Mary reminds me that she brought her son into this world not understanding his divine destiny and fully understanding that he would suffer and die. All the same, her face is peace.

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Joshua Gibbs Sep 13, 2019

Is there such a thing as a straight A student? Yes and no.

There are students who, by the time they graduate high school, have received nothing but A’s on their report cards. However, I doubt that the straight A student is a kind of student. I don’t think the straight A student is natural, as though some students get A’s the way that birds fly or fish swim. Put another way, if a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA received a low C on a semester exam, I wouldn’t think something was wrong. I wouldn’t say something unnatural had happened.

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Sep 12, 2019

“If a human being were a machine . . . the work of the educator would be simply to adopt a good working system or set of systems. But the educator has to deal with a self-acting, self-developing being, and his business is to guide, and assist in, the production of the latent good in that being, the dissipation of the latent evil, the preparation of the child to take his place in the world at his best, with every capacity for good that is in him developed into a power.” 

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Robin J. Burns Sep 11, 2019

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CiRCE Institute for awakening me to the concept of teaching classically. I am a masters-educated, certified teacher, yet I don’t think that I was ever taught how to educate!

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Joshua Dyson Sep 6, 2019

In his Confessions Augustine recounts his early education, an education which many of us would be proud to impart to our own children. From a young age he was steeped in the Greek tragedies, Roman histories, and classical languages of Greek and Latin. Yet as he reflects upon these matters he expresses deep sorrow over how his heart was led astray by his own carnal lusts and isolation from his Maker. The classical education he had received had become the fodder for his idolatry and hubris (word the ancient philosophers would have used for “pride”).

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Joshua Gibbs Sep 6, 2019

The most important moment in a blogging career comes surprisingly close to the beginning. By the time a blogger has published a dozen articles, he will have already developed a decent sense for what people want to read. When he looks back over the first twelve articles, he will quickly be able to size up what made the popular ones popular and what made the unpopular ones easy for everyone to pass over. And then comes the temptation to only write what people want to hear.

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Joshua Gibbs Sep 2, 2019

Social media has given rise to a host of seasonal debates among American Christians. Is Christmas too commercialized? Was Christmas originally a pagan holiday? Is Easter still a pagan holiday? Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Should Protestants celebrate Lent? Of course, in any debate over such questions there is also a healthy contingent of people who prefer to not take a position, but to scold everyone engaged in the debate about manners and “more important issues.” For my money, the scolds are usually the most sanctimonious of all, but who am I kidding?

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Monique Neal Aug 30, 2019

Every pianist has been told at some point that the secret to beautiful performance is staying relaxed. This does not mean working less hard. It means working only the muscles that are supposed to be working while eliminating tension everywhere else. Relaxation is an important piano technique because it makes an incredible difference in the sound the instrument produces. Much of a piano is made of wood, a living material, which responds to slight differences in touch. This is a beautiful metaphor for teaching and learning.

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Aug 29, 2019

“How to help your students fall in love with classical education” is a common theme of the classical renewal’s spokesmen. “How to help them once they do” is a more rare, yet equally pressing, issue. 

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Joshua Gibbs Aug 26, 2019

Parent: There’s a lot of changes at school this year.

Gibbs: What’s changed?

Parent: All of a sudden, several upper school classes are beginning the day with catechisms. The school has switched from offering Spanish to offering Greek. The report cards at this school used to be fairly straight forward, but I hear that’s changing this year.

Gibbs: I see.

Parent: Look, don’t take this the wrong way, but I have to ask: are you just experimenting on my kids? So much is in a state of flux.

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