Category Archives: Summer 2019

Phenomenology of the Hand


If you teach high school or college students, or have kids who are passing through those ­places, and if your duties include grading papers, or you watch your kids struggle with writing assignments, I have a piece of advice. Tell them to try composing by hand, with pen and paper, not on the keyboard. I […]

Formal Structure in Music

Formal Structure

When discussing the fine arts, we explore structure through the concept of “form.” Sometimes it’s best to envision form as a physical design. Other times, we perceive an artistic form as a multi-part narrative shaping a creative work. And while someone might forge a completely new form, generally an artist works with forms that have […]

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 Futility of Facilitating

The Futility of Facilitating

In recent years I find I have begun serving on boards, task forces, and even in a Think Tank. Such appointments are an honor, and are idyllic in many ways. Dropped into the midst of brilliant, visionary people, I appreciate listening, learning, and contemplating ideas. However, I have learned that no matter the intelligence or […]

Gravitas: The Lost Art of Taking School Seriously

In the early twentieth century, Dorothy Sayers gave birth to the modern classical education movement in a much-quoted speech at Oxford in which she cast the abstract concepts of the liberal arts of grammar, logic, and rhetoric as stages of learning. These three stages have given structure and clarity to the long and somewhat inscrutable […]

Quality Education is Not Rocket Science

Quality Education

Every week it seems I receive three or four letters from people who are establishing new schools or reforming old ones. These letters are most encouraging, and all of the writers, without exception, are dedicated to restoring what is called a “classical” education. Sometimes that implies the study of the true classics, the literature of […]

Lord, Liar, or Lunatic

Lord, Liar

Some of the most interesting things to study when it comes to logic are the arguments for the existence of God. They come in all shapes and sizes. There is the Ontological Argument, which argues from the very idea of God to His real existence. There is the Cosmological Argument, which argues from the fact […]

The Language of Learning

Can you discuss progressive, pragmatic, and classical education and why classical education is a valuable option? Each of these sees the purpose of education differently. Progressivism is the idea that education is a means to accomplish the end of changing a culture. Pragmatism does not want to change culture by using students, like progressivism; rather, […]

The Living Order of Education

Order of Education

One of the many benefits of knowing Latin is that it gives you the ability to know what English words mean even when you have never seen them before. But just as important is the ability it gives you to better understand a word you have seen a thousand times. I was walking through the […]

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