Category Archives: Winter 2017

Teaching Writing: Readiness, Essentials, & Impact

“Ever since the dawn of time, man has needed to work.” Thus began my eleven-year-old son’s thinking paper. The topic: why he should have been cleaning out the garage. We long ago forgot the details of that day, but we never forgot the opening line of that paper! How did my son learn to write? […]

What Makes a Song Good?

what makes a song good

Seemingly simple, the question of what makes a song good is actually a complicated one. What does the word “song” actually mean? One reliable definition would be “a composition of relatively short duration characterized by a melody, to which words are placed.” But people use “song” to refer to all sorts of music, including purely […]

The Saving Power of Story

Saving Power of Story

“Great works of art pass through us like storm winds, flinging open the doors of perception, pressing upon the architecture of our beliefs with their transforming powers …” – George Steiner One of life’s great little mysteries, if not ironies, remains the unpredictability of what children will grow up to do for their life’s work. […]

A Journey Like Dante’s

Journey Like Dante's

Virgil has vanished. Before Dante realizes it, his steadfast guide and guardian disappears in the Earthly Paradise, the gateway separating Purgatory and Paradise. Though this brings Dante much sorrow, the continuation of his journey depends on this necessary parting. Seven hundred years later, leaving Highlands Latin School for Hillsdale College, I find myself in the […]

The Fallacy of Teaching Fallacies First

Fallacy of Teaching Fallacies First

One of the most common mistakes I see in logic instruction in many schools is to begin teaching it by having students study informal fallacies. It’s not that it does them any damage; it just doesn’t do them as much good as many educators seem to think. The Two Kinds of Logic There are two […]

Letter from the Editor: Winter 2017

Letter from the Editor

Modern education is all about technique. The prevailing thought is that if only the right “method” could be found, the problems would be solved; if a methodological magic bullet could be employed, all the problems would go away. And since a method is all that is sought, a method is all that is found. Those […]