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.