I have had chronic back pain for several years now. It has finally become intolerable the point of my having a medical procedure done yesterday. During the process of explaining the procedure, the doctor grabbed my attention my asserting a phrase that is rarely heard in the medical profession these days. He said that the thing that excited him about the procedure was that it would “get us closer to identifying the root causes of the pain instead of just continually treating the symptoms”. That was a refreshing oasis in a desert of medical practitioners content with only treating effects rather than root causes.
One of the things that excites me about classical education is the focus on the question of “why” rather than just the “what”. As a consultant in classical education, one of the foremost challenges is to ask the right questions that get to the root of school’s problems versus only manipulating symptoms. These are the factors that led me to join CiRCE as a consultant. The institute’s emphasis on researching the best practices in education and why they are the best practices is far more satisfying to me (and sustainable for schools) than the emphases being on whatever solves a problem for now. The healthiest schools? The ones that have a solid and consistent link between the why they exist and what they do in the classrooms and hallways day-to-day.