Tag: Classical Education

Is beauty objective, or merely a personal experience? Do we need beauty in our daily lives, or is it just icing on the cake? Is the sole purpose of art self-expression? Sociologist Margarita Mooney Clayton *05 of Princeton Theological Seminary discusses the history and philosophy of beauty, and its relationships with truth and the sacred.

More on Margarita, https://margaritamooneyclayton.com/bio/

The Rightful Ownership of Art



Nike of Samothrace

A lively discussion about the rightful ownership of art took place in our last session of Beauty is not Optional: Music and Art, a course I’m currently offering for Memoria College. The topic arises when we consider masterworks of Ancient sculpture that were purchased and transported to unrelated locations, such as the Pergamon Altar (2nd century BC), brought in the 19th century to Berlin from the acropolis in Pergamon, or Nike of Samothrace, the stately winged Greek messenger sculpted c. 190 BC who today occupies a grand position in Paris’ Louvre, rather than the ruins of the temple complex in Samothrace where she originally stood.

This topic leads to another question: what does it mean when significant works of art are purchased for private collections (these days at fantastic prices)? Is it right for them to reside for the foreseeable future far from public view? Or do masterworks of art belong to the world at large, properly housed in public spaces where they can be freely visited?

Little did I realize, enjoying our class discussion, that the next week would put me into a situation where this issue is not theoretical. While beginning a tour for which I’m lecturing in Germany, the organization kicked off our packed schedule with a lovely, surprise reception in a private home in Cologne. Built in Bauhaus style, this home stretches far back from its humble façade. It is open and airy, with a grand, windowed corridor flanked by quadrants of gardens. For the party, a pavilion was erected in the back garden. Tables filled the home and yard, and, mercifully, the threatening rain held off for the duration of the evening.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Angel Adams Parham, Associate Professor of Sociology and senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University of Virginia, and the author of The Black Intellectual Tradition: Reading Freedom in Classical Literature. Professor Parham shares her background as an academic and former homeschooling mom, her embrace of classical education, and her philosophy about what constitutes a sound humanities curriculum. She reviews the wide variety of ancient and contemporary sources she has drawn upon, and how best to weave both faith and classical learning into the lives of children. She offers thoughts on how parents and teachers should be using enduring ideas of justice, from Plato through MLK, in this time of bitter division, and how to teach about America’s past. They also talk about her 2022 Wall Street Journal op-ed on the importance of classics, and the main themes of her new book.

Stories of the Week: In Maine, multiple police departments have recovered candy-colored fentanyl and methamphetamine in the shape of chewable vitamins, part of a nationwide trend of making these deadly drugs more appealing to younger people. Is the teacher shortage crisis a myth? New research cited in The 74 indicates that teacher turnover rates have not changed since before COVID.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Bob Bowdon & guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Susan Wise Bauer – writer, historian, homeschool parent, and author of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, as well as numerous other books. They explore the impact of technological innovation, online tools and social media, and the plethora of resources now available to the increasingly diverse and growing population of American homeschool families. They also discuss Susan’s approach to writing and teaching about major world historical figures and eras, and why classical education’s developmentally appropriate approach to instruction in grammar, logic, and rhetoric is a model worth preserving.

Stories of the Week: Despite widely covered teacher strikes this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ newly released data on union membership shows a decline – but will this reduce organized labor’s power? In Maryland, a school desegregation proposal that would redistrict over 5,000 children to address educational inequity is meeting parent resistance. A tweet-up timed to counter National School Choice Week, using the hashtag #ILovePublicSchools, backfired when 8,000 public school students posted overwhelmingly negative comments about their experiences.

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Hi all.  Im thinking of venturing into Latin as I may be heading back to school to study the history of the Roman Catholic Church and Papal politics in Renaissance Italy, so I need a decent grounding in Latin.  I have one edition of Wheelock but didn’t really find it to my liking nor am […]

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Not The Marva Collins Way


Marva CollinsThe New York Times reports the death of a legendary educator:

Marva Collins, a former substitute teacher whose success at educating poor black students in a private school she founded made her a candidate for secretary of education and the subject of a television movie, died on Wednesday in a hospice near her home in South Carolina. She was 78. […] After working as a substitute teacher for 14 years in Chicago public schools, Ms. Collins cashed in her $5,000 in pension savings and opened Westside Preparatory School in 1975. The school originally operated in the basement of a local college and then, to be free of red tape (the same reason she said she had refused federal funds), in the second floor of her home.

Thirty years ago, Collins was a celebrity. She even received that ultimate hallmark of Eighties fame: A TV movie of the week starring Morgan Freeman and Cicely Tyson. Prince featured her in a music video. President Reagan considered making her Secretary of Education. For much of the decade, Collins was a frequent presence on talkshows, book tours and the lecture circuit. The private school she founded became a model for dozens of others across America.

Bring Back the Trivium!


Some valid inferences in categorical logic.  Long live the Trivium!The world is a complicated place; it’s hard to trace all the world’s problems back to their few root causes. But surely a lack of education is one of them–and, sad to say, a presence of miseducation. To be precise: A lack of good education is one of the root problems.

So what makes a good education? I was raised with the idea that Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic were fundamentals in education, and I don’t disagree with that now. The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers was a wonderful discovery in college. It turns out that there are some other fundamentals, the lost tools of the Trivium: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric–or language, logic, and rhetoric. This is the old way of doing education. One of its surviving relics is the term “grammar school.” (Also, alongside the old and broken, yet newfangled, education system, a renewed, yet ancient and time-tested, education system has sprung up on this model–largely because of the influence of Sayers’ essay [examples here and here].)

The Trivium system relies largely on patterns. The patterns of Latin: sumesestsumusestissunt; oasatamusatisant; and others (so many others!).  The patterns of Logic: All M are P; all S are M; therefore all S are P; and others.