Teaching students to think for themselves, to inquire independently, or to exercise intellectual self-reliance is all the rage. This is true of both educational theory and educational practice. For example, Harvey Siegel, one of the world’s leading philosophers of education, says, “Our educational obligation is not to deliver our students to flourishing lives (or happy ones), but rather to prepare them to consider for themselves (among many other things) the virtuousness of the virtues and their place in their own lives” (emphasis added).
The thought of sending my daughters off to college does not excite me, as it has been many years now since I last heard an encouraging news story come out of an American college campus. I do not doubt that good colleges yet exist, although the question of whether I can afford them is another matter. And I am sure that good professors may be found on every college campus in the country, though I am not persuaded that three fine literature teachers can justify a hundred thousand dollars of student loan debt. Nonetheless, beyond high school, my daughters will need something more.
Last Friday, I nearly burned the place down. During my lunch break, I started a pot roast simmering in wine and diced onions, and when I walked back in the door two hours later, the smoke alarm was blaring and the apartment was thick with smoke. My wife and I spent the following day cleaning every inch of our little home. Every blanket, every towel, and pillow case was laundered, and several armloads of clothes were taken to the dry cleaners. We set out bowls of vinegar, bowls of baking soda, and bowls of aromatic oils. We have a professional cleaner scheduled for later this week.
Welcome back to The Daily Poem! Today's show reveals the winners of our most recent contest winners.
For classical educators striving to “integrate the disciplines,” music provides an invaluable instrument of integration. Music studies harmonize with every core discipline of the curriculum: the music of various periods vocalizes the movements of history, the formal structures of music correspond to the formal structures of poetry, the theory of music applies principles of mathematics, the physics of music makes audible the laws of science. Music even bridges education’s theoretical and technical divide, as it can be both contemplated with the mind and practiced with the hands.
In high school, I can remember reading only one work of fiction, which was, ironically, Great Expectations. In my blue-collar town, manual labor and resourcefulness were predominant virtues, so each year our headmaster directed the high school students to set up a large outdoor Fall Festival. One year we repurposed an old rubber swing seat and headed into the woods to rig up a zipline.
Welcome back to the Commons, a podcast about school leadership with Dr. Brian Phillips. On this week's episode Brian continues his reflections on enduring during the challenging month of February, with a particular focus on teaching through those "blahs" and the need for persistent prayer.
Student: In class, you talk a lot about the temptations which come with college. How did you do in college?
Gibbs: Badly. If I had it to do over again, I would do college very differently.
Student: Occasionally I hear about graduates from this school going off the rails in college.
Gibbs: So do I.
Student: Why do you think some students go off the rails and others don’t?
It has become my custom to begin every class period with the reading of a Psalm, and usually the same Psalm for each day of the week throughout a given quarter. Mondays, however, are different. We begin instead by reading from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, which is a potent reminder for all of us that the time for rest (Sunday) is over and that the time for study and labor has come again.
Few maxims are likely to excite the concern of a classicist quite like, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The claim rings with the kind of subjectivity that eschews the transcendent and easily slips into radical relativism.