This presentation argues that classical education is often misunderstood due to a number of modern prejudices which distort the original concept. These distortions include the general neglect of several large spheres: the natural sciences, religion, and other cultures (beyond the Greco-Roman heritage). The paper attempts to correct these misunderstandings in order to present a model for classical education that is truly “classical.” At the end it is argued that this revised model can help us to make a stronger case for the relevance of classical education in the context of a globalized world.
This presentation will explore one of the central challenges for any classical school today, namely what it means to educate "digital natives,” those who did not reach maturity prior to the explosion of the internet and social media. What are the key obstacles to cultivating in our young people the intellectual and moral virtues and ultimately helping them become mature, integrated persons? For diagnostic purposes, John Henry will draw on both classical and modern thinkers, especially the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, whose exploration of the moral hazard to the individual posed by the “crowd” sheds light on the effects of social media, especially on teens in the crucial formative years. John Henry will argue that the intellectual formation fostered by the classical trivium and quadrivium is today more important than ever because it provides young people the ability to navigate a world shaped by massive amounts of information and by the social internet. Finally, John Henry will sample some striking passages in modern personalist thinkers like John Henry Newman and Dietrich von Hildebrand to show how the intellectual virtues fostered by classical education are not extraneous to but crucial for the growth of character.
Somewhere in the last few centuries, the school curriculum abandoned the quest for wisdom to pursue power, an infidelity that has been embodied in both curriculum (from arts to subjects) and pedagogies (from teacher to text book). This workshop takes a brief look at the Sirens and Cyclopes who seem to have distracted us and some of the consequences, but mostly it aims to show how a return to the journey home through the ancient Liberal Arts cultivates harmony, even in ages of discord and fragmentation.
Augustine is famous for his doctrine of Despoiling the Egyptians – saying "Whatever has been said rightly by the pagan, we must appropriate to our own use." This motto in many ways is the spirit of my talk- that by understanding how classical pedagogy worked and by using its many features, the 21st-century student can sharpen his/her mind and despoil the classical authors of whatever is good, true, and beautiful.
First, we will look at how grammar and rhetoric were taught in the classical and late classical age (100 B.C. - 400 A.D.). Second, we will note the age’s pedagogical focus – training of the ear, tongue, and memory as the student’s principal tools. Lastly, we will discuss how the 21st-century Latin teacher can equip his/her students to learn like the Romans and so greater inherit the goods of a classical education.
This talk considers the relationship between a few modern ethical theories and the ancient question of how one should live. I want to explore the suggestion (advanced by Bernard Williams and others) that because these theories (and theories generally) are unsatisfying vis a vis this question we would do well to look to alternative resources in our attempts to answer it, perhaps in a special way to the rich narratives of history, to Aristotle's "completed lives."
Understanding the character of young people and how they learn is not a matter of having a good theory about “youth education” but of actually knowing young people as particulars, not simply as an age group, and being attentive to, and reflective about, the culture in which they are immersed. It is a commonplace to lament the toxicity of the culture, but it may be that we are still failing to appreciate the profound transformative effect it has, especially on young people. As Pope Benedict noted in his 2011 address to Carthusian monks at St. Bruno monastery, we are witnessing an “anthropological mutation” in the younger generations resulting from, among other things, their near constant immersion in mediating technology. This presentation will address the nature of this mutation and the significance it has for us as teachers thinking about moral formation.