Classical Liberal Education: The cure for the dumbed-down culture of death?

Classical education, the institute explained, is meant to help students learn how to think, giving them “the tools of lifelong learning,” rather than merely teaching them “subjects.” The foundation of classical education is a set of three methods of learning subjects, called the trivium, which consists of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

“By uniting faith and reason across the curriculum, this approach aims to form students in wisdom and virtue,” the institute added. Classical Catholic education is also meant to “form an educational community that is fully Catholic,” rather than being merely “secular schools with a Catholic name and a religion class.”

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Editor’s note: This is the authentic, original and beneficial type of Liberal Arts that forms the basis for all the best features of western civilization. Not the Marxist, Socialist, virtually useless aberration currently provided by many/most of today’s institutions of higher learning.

Teachers at Catholic schools ill-prepared for their jobs, says president of Catholic Education Institute

Catholic schools aren’t Catholic enough and are failing in their mission because teachers are not adequately prepared for their special role, the president of the Catholic Education Institute told attendees at a recent three-day conference at Marin Catholic High School.

“For teachers preparing to work in Catholic elementary or high schools, most [Catholic colleges and universities] offer little that is specifically Catholic,” Jesuit Fr. John Piderit told participants at the second annual ‘Substantially Catholic’ conference at Marin Catholic, the archdiocesan newspaper Catholic San Francisco reports.

“‘Why is this important for administrators?” asked Father Piderit’s colleague Melanie Morey, senior director of research at the institute,” continued the Catholic San Francisco story. ‘Every year you bring young faculty into your schools’ and they are by and large unprepared to teach specifically as Catholics, she said.”

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News of Catholic school closing was met with a totally unexpected response

Multiple parishioners approached Donoghue and Father Stack, arguing that what the parish needed was a more rigorous curriculum and authentic Catholic spirit. One of the loudest of these voices was that of Michael Hanby, a professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Hanby had lately been introduced to a local homeschooling community’s miniature school, known as the Crittenden Academy, which had inspired him to write an essay describing his philosophy on the subject. That November evening, attending the consultation and listening to the parish’s presentation, he recalls thinking, “I’m not sure that the school they just described is really worth saving.”

Following the meeting, Hanby sent a letter saying as much to Father Stack, including a copy of his essay on education and emphasizing that “a wonderful birthright [was] being denied” the children of the community. Students needed, he argued, “to love thinking and to have something noble to think about,” but Catholic schools had instead “drifted toward a public school model.” His essay, Donoghue recalls, presented “a good analysis of where Catholic education had gotten off track,” and she was impressed with its proposed remedies.

What was most amazing, though, was that it was a “beautiful fit” with a change she and Father Stack had already been contemplating since they’d attended a leadership consortium two weeks before the call from downtown: a school where rigorous curriculum was combined with authentic Catholicism without apology. “It was already clear,” Donoghue explains, “that [the old] model had run out of steam.” Hanby’s vision for education — along with other essays they read, including Dorothy Sayers’ “Lost Tools of Learning” — articulated a methodology for their goals “more fully and more completely” than she and Father Stack could do themselves.

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