Leonidas, Lenin, and Larry walk into a pub…

I am a Spartan. I am a free man. The Persians wanted to destroy Sparta and to take away freedom from all of the Greeks. They wanted to destroy what we are. They wanted to take away a large part of our very existence. To take Sparta from Leonidas and to take freedom from Leonidas leaves you with someone who is not fully Leonidas. To be fully myself, I must be a Spartan and a free man—not a Persian slave.

“This Story Shall the Good Man Teach His Son”: How Most Modern Education Fails Students and How I Respond

Limiting students’ encounter with World War I, or with any instance of suffering, to Owen’s poem and its philosophy that our view of suffering should be determined by its visible effects, gives students a false and soul-embittering view of human life.

Six Unconventional Questions for Choosing a College

It’s college-picking time of year again. Here are six unconventional things to consider before you embark on a journey to the ivory towers. Do you really need to go to college? You probably won’t hear this question much, because colleges all want you to pick them, because governments want to loan you money so theyContinue reading “Six Unconventional Questions for Choosing a College”

Executing Tradition: Cultural Death and the Manipulation of the Young

Increasingly, there are calls for educators to reject “adultism” in teaching their students. “Adultism” is essentially the idea that adults (parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, pastors, government leaders, etc.) have too much authority over children and young people. This must be done, anti-adultists (who are all adults themselves) say, because children lose self-esteem when theyContinue reading “Executing Tradition: Cultural Death and the Manipulation of the Young”

The President’s Speech: Reagan on History Education

Today is the 28th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s farewell address, January 11, 1989. His comments on history education are spot on, and worth quoting at length. Read the rest here. Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I’ve got one that’s been on my mind for some time. ButContinue reading “The President’s Speech: Reagan on History Education”

On the Necessity of Defining Terms

The start of the new year is a great time to look at the foundations of writing, and speaking: definitions. In the first week of Western Civilization and Great Books after the Christmas break, we studied Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Near the end of the play, Phoebe – a shepherdess – asks Sylvius –Continue reading “On the Necessity of Defining Terms”

Greatness, Not Perfection: Food for Thought on the Study of History

As I was listening to the radio the other day, one commentator noted that few people bother to make the distinction between “greatness” and “perfection.” Greatness is moral excellence; perfection is moral perfection. We should want to be great, and we know that some individuals are great; we should also hope for perfection, although weContinue reading “Greatness, Not Perfection: Food for Thought on the Study of History”

ACTA: American Students Don’t Know American History or Government

In a study released this month, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni reveals that college graduates have low levels of knowledge about American history and government. For example, roughly 50% of college graduates could not explain the term lengths of Congressmen,  roughly 70% could not “identify James Madison as the Father of the Constitution,”Continue reading “ACTA: American Students Don’t Know American History or Government”

For True Equality, Ban Bedtime Stories

Otherwise Entitled: The Importance of Reading To and With Your Children (of Any Age!) This story, from an Australian news source, notes that students benefit most in their education if they have loving parents who read to them. However, according to Adam Swift, these loving parents who read to their children give those children “an unfair advantage”Continue reading “For True Equality, Ban Bedtime Stories”