classical pedagogy

The Disciplinary Art of Making Distinctions

The modern approach to discipline, as to most things, seeks an efficient, fail-proof, and above all, universally-adaptable approach. In my college education courses, I was presented with an array of disciplinary methods, each prescribing precisely sequenced steps (e.g., give a brief verbal warning at the first offense, a reminder of the warning at the second …

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Remote vs. Home Learning: What Else the Coronavirus Means for Classical Schools

In a recent blog post, Joshua Gibbs suggests that “What the Coronavirus Means for Classical Schools” is nothing less than a test of their true worth. That test lies in schools’ potential temporary transition to remote learning. If students can receive remotely everything which their teachers would have sought to give them in class, then, …

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Wild Yeast, the Wisdom of Bakers, and the Kitchen as Classical Classroom

I have been learning, this month, to make sourdough bread. Perhaps you’ve eaten it. I doubt, though, you know what it takes to bake it; I, at least, did not. It was all supposed to be a jolly jaunt into a new region of cookery—a little reading, a little experimenting—and then, in short order, that …

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“Every Capacity for Good”: Advice from Charlotte Mason for Planning A New School Year

“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 …

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Come Play With Me: Lessons For (and from) My Baby

As a student, I earned spending money by tutoring rather than babysitting. As a teacher, I ventured into high school rather than elementary classrooms. After church on Sundays, I join lively conversations with my congregation’s teenagers, but end tongue-tied after a few minutes’ talk with the toddlers. Though I’ve certainly never sought to avoid the …

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“An Out-of-Door Life for the Children”: Six Ideas from Charlotte Mason

The beginning of springtime, when the fleeting beauty of the outdoors sometimes overshadows the perpetual urgency of lessons, is a good time to be reading Charlotte Mason, who insisted that time spent outside is integral to the child’s formation and education. Here are some of her ideas for creating an “out-of-door life for the children,” …

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