Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America examines the decline of American education and offers a solution. It is not more spending or a new and innovative program. Rather the solution, according to authors Gene Edward Veith, Jr. and Andrew Kern, is classical education.
“America education cannot improve until we have a new theory of education. Fortunately, one exists,” Veith and Kern write. “An increasing number of schools and educators are returning to an approach to education that is the bedrock of Western culture: classical education.”
Veith and Kern examine contemporary education theories that have failed during the 20th century. Among them are modernism, postmodernism, and multiculturalism. They in turn produced Whole Language, Goals 2000, School-to-Work, critical thinking and technology in the classroom. It is clear that these approaches are not working.
In Classical Education, the authors examine six different approaches elementary and secondary schools use to tie the “3 Rs” to the moral and civic education of the Western tradition. They include Christian Classicism, which is advocated by the Association of Classical and Christian Schools; Democratic Classicism, which has been adopted by over 100 public schools; Moral Classicism, which is based on the idea that education is a path to virtue; and Liberating Classicism, Marva Collins’ program for minority children in poor neighborhoods that emphasizes phonics and character education.
This revised and updated edition includes new chapters on classical education in Catholic schools and in the homeschooling movement.
Veith and Kern also review the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S. that teach Western tradition and they provide a directory listing of organizations that work for a return to classical education.
Gene Edward Veith is Professor of English and Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia University-Wisconsin. He is the culture editor of World magazine and author of a dozen books, including Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature, State of the Arts: From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe, Modern Fascism: The Liquidation of the Judeo-Christian Worldview, Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture, and Christians in a Dot.Com World. Veith is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas.
Andrew Kern is director of CIRCE (Consulting and Integrated Resources for Classical Education), a consulting and research service to classical schools and those that want to start one. He helped establish two classical schools, Providence Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Foundations Academy in Boise, Idaho, and has taught every grade from third to twelfth on almost every subject. A sought-after teacher-trainer, Kern is a popular speaker at classical education conferences and workshops. He is a graduate of Concordia University.
What They Are Saying:
“This is a perfect little book on a vast subject: lucid without being simplistic, opinionated without being dogmatic, comprehensive yet to the point. In unaffected, everyday language, it conveys a wealth of ancient education wisdom to modern minds.”–David Hicks, author of Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education
“Classical Education reminds us that every achievement of humankind is valuable, and every child’s soul is damaged when we fail to demand that they achieve. Our young people respond with violence and anger when schools and teachers put labels on them: “Inferior,” “born to fail,” “inability to cope.” Our children don’t need tags, measures, inkblot tests. They are screaming for a curriculum that challenges their minds.”–Marva Collins, founder of Westside Preparatory School, Chicago