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Today we’re reviewing the first of several video conversations that took place at the National Classical Education Symposium, this past March in Phoenix. This particular conversation was with Dr. Gregory McBrayer, who directs the core curriculum at Ashland University (OH). Greg outlines the essential characteristics of a liberal education: from perennial questions to great books, and...

Rob Jackson Director, Institute for Classical Education If you find yourself with more time to observe the natural world--taking walks and hikes at sufficient social distance--you might also be interested in some careful observations surrounding the 19th century’s most famous naturalist, Charles Darwin. From David Quammen’s NYRB review of three new books on Darwin, we discover that botany...

Rob Jackson Director, Institute for Classical Education One month ago, we gathered in Phoenix for the 2nd annual National Classical Education Symposium, where we explored “The Historian’s Craft and the Art of Teaching History.” One of our informants, Dr. Wilfred McClay, was delighted by the conversation we hosted and the colleagues we invited. McClay’s new book, Land...

Stay safe. Stay at home. And, the most important thing: stay connected and inspired.” Those parting words from an online post by the conductor of the LA Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel—which got me thinking about the sources of inspiration we might draw upon, at this peculiar time. For Dudamel, his inspiration comes from making beautiful music. And,...

Last spring, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Magatte Wade, who was offering a series of lectures at Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Liberty. From her international studies and under the influence of a few insightful teachers, Wade has come to see the immense value of a Socratic form of education, which she...

The following entry is from our colleague, Dr. Benjamin Storey (Furman University). Dr. Storey’s experiences with a great teacher, Dr. Leon Kass (University of Chicago), helped set the course of his life as a scholar and a humanist.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing my teacher, Dr. Leon R. Kass, on the subject of his...

(Note: the following post was provided by our colleague and friend, Dr. David Rothman, who is one of the most energetic supporters of K-12 classical education in the country--and a remarkable poet, to boot!) One of the challenges we face in our current moment might be best described as a kind of collective obsessive-compulsive disorder. Despite...

With her usual style and wit, poet Marianne Moore explains why “Poetry” can be such a perfectly contemptuous form. After all, it can be nearly impenetrable, often paradoxical, and seemingly condescending to the uninitiated.  Yet, in spite of poetry’s sometimes inscrutable ways, Moore acknowledges its clarifying role in our collective consciousness--i.e., the best phrases and most...