Freedom from the Zeitgeist
Introduction: Why do We Need Alternatives to the Present?
Conscience, Reason, and Civilization as the Three Alternatives.
Our present times might be the best of times, they might be the worst of times, but they are...
Looking Backward to the Future: Eye-to-Eye with George Washington and John Adams
The student of civilization is liberated from a horizontal existence, i.e., a life which only knows its own times. Knowledge of the past adds depth to our lives and frees...
Disappointed by Modern Debates? Try Medieval Disputations
It is difficult to argue that the political climate in our country is conducive to a sincere pursuit of truth. It is even more difficult to imagine future political campaigns in which the search...
A School that Needs No Defense
Schools seem to be in need of defending their existence and nothing is too cheap to serve as an argument for why students have to go to school. Job training, social skills, self-esteem, GNP-growth, college credit,...
The making of Americans began on July Fourth, 1776, when thirteen British colonies declared themselves American. Since then, Americans have been made either by absorbing the customs of their ancestors, or by leaving their native countries in pursuit of...
The parent-principal discussions of E. D. Hirsch’s The Making of Americans showed us that the godfather of Core Knowledge now posits a purpose for a Core Knowledge education. The Making of Americans, more so than his previous books, reveals an...
School Means Leisure
“The Need to Win”
When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two...
C.S. Lewis on the Teacher
Plato and Hannah Arendt have pointed out the great responsibility of the teacher: She should turn students towards the good, true, and beautiful, and she has to represent the old world to the new generation. This is a...
I had the pleasure of reading Plato's analogy of the cave with two different classes recently: the 7-9th grade Socrates elective and the Moral Philosophy high school requirement. In Book VII of The Republic, Plato lets Socrates "make an image of our...
Die Krise der Erziehung
Hannah Arendt (1906-75), one of the great intellectuals of the twentieth century, gave a speech in Bremen, Germany, in 1958 in which she dissected the crisis of American education. 25 years before "A Nation at Risk," 28 before...