August 22, 2016 - Ashley Bateman, The Heartland Institute
“Catholic schools can use parts of the Common Core, but the Common Core in and of itself is insufficient to guide education in Catholic schools,” Guernsey said. “The Common Core does college/career prep. We adopt this broader approach and vision toward education, and parents will run to that. Parents will pay, if they can afford it, to get an uncommon education and have their children’s depth of thought, compassion, humanity, and vision of man articulated. In the Common Core, we’ve lost this vision of humanity.”
August 10, 2016 - Jim Growdon Executive Director of The Regina Academies
Jim Growdon of The Regina Academies reports on this year's wonderful Catholic Classical Schools Conference:
Conference participants convened from over 60 different Catholic classical schools and traveled from every part of the country, more than 30 states and Canada to gain insights and develop classical pedagogy from the ideas of dedicated keynote speakers, breakout session presenters, seminar leaders and one another.
R. R. Reno from Principles - A Publication of Christendom College
R.R. Reno's beautiful, profound and comprehensive essay reveals the origins in thought and desire of the contemporary reverence for "critical thinking", and its proper and improper role in a real life of learning:
The pedagogy of critical thinking trains us to hesitate, interrogate, and withdraw our assent. It cools the passion of our belief. But existentially important questions are intrinsically hot. We are engaged by the big questions, and the cool distance required by critical reason tends to make answers seem remote and inaccessible. This accounts for why our overemphasis on critical thinking in education has led to an intellectual culture of expertise without wisdom.
April 28, 2016 - Peter Jesserer Smith National Catholic Register
Amid the debate over Common Core, the classical-education the classical education movement is gaining traction among Catholics:
“CLAREMONT, N.H. — When Mario and his wife, Julie, left Switzerland for New Hampshire, they faced a frustrating dilemma as parents: Where were they going to educate their five children? Julie, while she had a theology doctorate from the Angelicum, was not able to home school, and both she and Mario, a former Swiss Guard under Pope St. John Paul II, had no confidence in the education coming from the public schools or from New England Catholic schools that followed a similar curriculum with an added religion class.
Only one course of action remained: They decided to found their own school in the Catholic tradition that would give their children and others the kind of classical education that formed Mario as a boy in Milan."
The Institute is happy to introduce the CLT, a new alternative standardized test for college admissions based on the best that Western civilization has to offer. The Institute is pleased to be involved in shaping the CLT to satisfy the needs of colleges and free teachers and students from the demands of the increasingly secular testing world.
"Classic Learning Initiatives exists as a small component of a much larger contemporary endeavor to repair the rupture between intellectual pursuit and virtue. The ancient Greek philosophers stressed the same basic ideas about education that home-school parents and classical school educators affirm today. How someone learns to think, what they read, and how they live, are all intricately connected. Mainstream education in America is failing because the pursuit of virtue, as classically understood, has been lost. "
We are proud to have Mark Salisbury telling the story of how his diocese has fully embraced classical liberal arts curriculum at our July Conference:
“We are enthusiastic about our early successes,' Salisbury shared. “Teachers are happy with the results as well. We have improved our ability to teach students how to write well, students are learning and memorizing more poetry” and the curriculum’s integration of Latin studies “has helped students with English grammar, vocabulary and critical thinking skills.”'
February 1, 2016 - Kimberly Scharfenberger Communications Assistant, Cardinal Newman Society
“It’s difficult to be a pioneer in classical education alone,” Dr. Andrew Seeley, executive director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, told The Cardinal Newman Society, “but when you discover that there are 70 or 80 other institutions around the country doing the same thing, you realize just how widespread this movement has become.”
Father Paul Raftery, O.P., delivered this beautiful reflection on mercy in the work of the great teacher, St. Thomas Aquinas, as part of a solemn Mass in his honor held on the campus of Thomas Aquinas College. It speaks to the heart of every Catholic teacher.
"This deeper kind of human suffering of the soul is what he wanted to engage, and reach out to, and try to alleviate. He saw that truth is an ointment for the confused and darkened mind. Especially the revealed truth of Sacred Doctrine. It heals man. It binds up the wounds of the soul. It restores health not just to the body, but to the spirit."
December 4, 2015 - Gerard Brungardt, M.D., Be.L., Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine
Masterpieces of literature can bring us deeply into our experiences as patients and physicians, revealing otherwise obscure or hidden truths. Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich is such a work of art. This article presents an approach to teaching this novella in a seminar format.
December 3, 2015 - Mr. Michael Moynihan, Head of Upper School, Mathematics
Our approach to teaching history at The Heights School has always had a strong anti-reductionist thrust, emphasizing that history is best understood from various perspectives (including economic, social, political, religious, cultural, geographical, military, and others), perspectives that can each shed light on understanding the past, while no one perspective is sufficient for a comprehensive understanding.
Excellent points - all eight! Hard to pick one to quote, so let's have two:
Lots of people today are willing to state their opinion on the Big Ideas in life without having taken the time to study the threads of discussion that have come before them. They think they’re contributing to the conversation, but they come off like anyone who jumps into a discussion without bothering to get filled in on what’s already been said — their thoughts are fragmentary, out-of-turn, needlessly repetitive, and lacking in context.
I find, as Thoreau did, that reading the classics fills me with vim and vigor and the desire to live more heroically in my own day. When I read about epic battles in The Iliad or ponder Cato’s stirring defense of republicanism, my 'blood runs hot with thumos' as the Greeks would say, and I’m primed to get out there and do great deeds.
Anthony Esolen draws lessons from Sacred Heart School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the schools we serve:
So then, three years ago, the priests and people of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish faced a decision. The school’s enrollment had dwindled to 65. It was learn or die. And that was when Father Sirico and the school’s teachers turned to the beauty and wisdom of the past. They turned to what still gives life.
October 30, 2015 - Dr. Andrew Seeley, ICLE Director
When The Institute offers workshops on classical education or the Catholic intellectual tradition, math teachers seem to be the hardest to reach. Religion, literature, art, and music teachers quickly recognize that their subjects provide great opportunities for introducing students to what The Holy See's Teachings on Catholic Schools calls “a Catholic worldview throughout the curriculum." History and science teachers can see it too, though they might worry about making their subject into an apologetics classes. Math teachers, however, often feel their courses are beyond the scope of our training.
October 30, 2015 - Elisabeth Sullivan, ICLE Assistant Director
The first thing one notices about St. Thomas More Academy is the joyful atmosphere. This is not an institution, but a community. From the fire pit, to the chicken coop and organic garden, and especially to the beautiful chapel now under renovation, there is a sense of freedom and engagement here that seems to visibly uplift the students – and the faculty.
October 30, 2015 - Dr. Jake Noland, Supervising Instructor
At St. Thomas More Academy [STMA] in Raleigh, NC, all sophomores take a full year of logic. We see this as a critical feature of our curriculum. Logic is properly at the core of a Catholic education because Jesus, the Logos Incarnate, is properly at the heart of a Catholic school.