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Kings James Bible for Memorization

»Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Blog, Childhood Wonder, Literature, Poetic Knowledge | Comments Off on Kings James Bible for Memorization

Among our various reasons for using the Authorized Version for students’ memory work are these mentioned in a good NPR broadcast. Shakespeare will be child’s play after years of this, as will Milton, Melville, Faulkner, and others under its magnificent influence. Out of the mouths of babes and...

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Admiring vs. Speculating

»Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Blog, Childhood Wonder, Mission-Type Stuff, On the Learning, Poetic Knowledge | Comments Off on Admiring vs. Speculating

One thing that today’s educators can take from 8th century monks (who were running schools and preserving Bibles in the darkest of times in the West) is knowing to admire where many would speculate. Too often learning is pursued mainly for curiosity, and no matter what we are studying, the intent is on speculation and forming questions. But if we want students to understand a good thing, then we must help them begin with a love and desire for it. It doesn’t begin with analysis and dissection, but rather, devotion. As a monastic scholar puts it, “admiration” and “speculation” are both words that “describe the act of looking. But the gaze of admiration adds something to the gaze of speculation. It does not necessarily see...

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Education in the Darkness of God

»Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Blog, Literature | Comments Off on Education in the Darkness of God

Education in the Darkness of God

The first steps of Dante’s education are taken into Hell. Beset in a wood as mirky as the hobbit’s, and off the “path of truth,” he finally sees the good way outside the forest, upwards to the light. But this way up the mountain is blocked by the leopard, lion, and she-wolf. The beasts are his sins. He must be guided “down another road,” because he cannot defeat these animals. He must be taken down into greater darkness and savagery. He must learn about his own “pity”full heart, and his lust, pride, and greed, and this by seeing others suffering justice and torment in the pits of Hell. He must see how far Reason can guide him, past violence, gluttony, or “futile wranglers.” And he must see where Reason...

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As the Bugle Stirs an Army

»Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Blog, Childhood Wonder, On the Learning | Comments Off on As the Bugle Stirs an Army

As the Bugle Stirs an Army

Hear ye, educators: To the teacher of children in the schools of Bible learning, more than to any others, should come the warning to make his words clear as plate-glass, luminous as light itself, sharp as polished blades, painting truths as ‘apples of gold in pictures of silver,’ and stirring the depths of the mind as the bugle stirs an army. John Milton Gregory,...

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Bede on Studying History

»Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Literature | Comments Off on Bede on Studying History

Bede on Studying History

Northern Britain, 732 A.D.– Bede writes to his king on the study of history: I gladly acknowledge the unfeigned enthusiasm with which, not content merely to lend an attentive ear to hear the words of Holy Scripture, you devote yourself to learn the sayings and doings of the men of old, and more especially the famous men of our own race. Should history tell of good men and their good estate, the thoughtful listener is spurred on to imitate the good; should it record the evil ends of wicked men, no less effectually the devout and earnest listener or reader is kindled to eschew what is harmful and perverse, and himself with greater care pursue those things which he has learned to be good and pleasing in the sight of God. (from the preface to The Ecclesiastical...

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Farmers, Harvard, and Ye Old Deluder

»Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Blog, Education History, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on Farmers, Harvard, and Ye Old Deluder

Farmers, Harvard, and Ye Old Deluder

Harvard College was started and maintained in good part by a collection of farmers and sailors. They paid their teachers and supported their students with crops after wasting no time establishing the first higher education in America: After God had carried us [Puritans] safe to New England, and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to prosperity. (from New England’s First Fruits, 1643) A trademark of these American Puritans was the setting up of schools. One preacher at a huge gathering of churches in Boston prayed, “Lord, for schools everywhere...

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