Author Archives: Paul Schaeffer

St. Augustine’s Principles of Teaching

Principles of Teaching

Around 400 A.D., a deacon from Carthage named Deogratias asked St. Augustine, then Bishop of Hippo in North Africa, for his advice on how to teach the faith to those who came seeking to become Christians. Other Christians often sent catechumens (new Christians learning about the faith) to this particular deacon because he was known […]

Wait and Hope

Wait and Hope

Many people see The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas as an amazing yarn, but not much more. And indeed, it boasts one of the most intricate, fascinating plots ever devised. But the tug-of-war between free will and Providence, between justice and revenge, between despair and hope make The Count of Monte Cristo much […]

The Four Causes of Classical Education

Four Causes

When do you really know what something is?” When your philosophy teacher asks this, your gut reaction is to roll your eyes and say, “Here we go again.” Or you get up and walk out. Or—and this is the best option—you say, “Hmm. I’ve never thought about that.” Thinking deeply about thinking is what philosophers […]

The Condemned Teacher

the condemned teacher

Socrates lived in Athens 2,500 years ago and he died being faithful to what he taught. Perhaps that is why educators through the ages have looked to him for inspiration and as a model. But his attitude toward teaching has been transformed into a “method” and the ideal technique in the neo-classical movement. But what […]

Tempus Fugit

    In today’s materialistic society, the thing we all seem to want more of is immaterial: time. Homeschool parents struggle to teach multiple children in different grades. Classroom teachers have up to 25 or 30 students in a single grade (15 as a maximum if they are lucky), and their time in the classroom is diminished with music classes, art […]

Go Socratic

The oracle at Delphi stated that no man was wiser than Socrates. Socrates was so shocked by that claim that he went around questioning everyone in Athens, hoping to find someone who was wiser than he. He was such a nuisance, such a “doubter,” that he was put on trial. Like the Athenians Socrates questioned, […]

Au Means…Gold?

I often address parents at schools that are trying to add Latin to their curriculum. At one meeting in particular, I was under the impression that there were several scientists and doctors in the room. As I extolled the benefits of Latin, I wondered how they were going to take my assertions that Latin would […]

Unlocking the Treasure Chest of Latin

If you were to walk into a gym today, you would see men and women doing repetitive exercises that are seemingly pointless. Take, for example, lifting weights. Someone who had never been to a gym before would be confused. “Why does he keep lifting that heavy piece of metal and putting it back where it […]

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