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A Pursuit Of Truth That Leads To Freedom (Orginally Aired )

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
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February 10, 2020 9:20 am

A Pursuit Of Truth That Leads To Freedom (Orginally Aired )

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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February 10, 2020 9:20 am

This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family is pleased to bring you a re-airing of the radio show from March 16, 2017. In this show, NC Family President John Rustin sits down with Andrew Kern, President of the CiRCE Institute. Kern speaks about the revitalization of classical education in our country and state, and what can be gained from this atypical approach to education.

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Family policy matters, and engaging in formative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the Carolina family policy hi this is John Rustin, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program. It's our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will for better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation. Today we bring you a show that originally aired in March 2017, featuring Andrew, current president of the sourcing Institute in Concorde North Carolina. Circe is an acronym for the Center for Independent research on classical education. In this episode of family policy matters is great for anyone who has an interest in education. We hope you enjoy. Thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. Our guest today is Andrew Kern, president of the Circe Institute were going to be discussing an approach to learning that is seeing a revitalization in our country and in our state.

And that is classical education. Founded in 1996, the Circe Institute provides a wealth of research and resources for use in classical schools and homes were teachers and parents seek to apply these ancient principles of learning to today's educational settings. Andrew has assisted with institutional development and start off in over 100 schools since 1996, including some schools here in North Carolina. Andrew Kern welcomed the family policy matters.

It's great to have you on the show will thank you, John. Now Andrew, what exactly is classical education help our listeners understand what that term encompasses while at the big idea, and in the 1000 let me give a very general definition of it classical education. We believe that theirs is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nursing the soul and the through the good and the beautiful and and as Christians we believe that the end of classical education so that the student is better able to know glorify and enjoy God's method of the definition.

The simplest way to put it is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue.

If you want to break it into elements.

I think we've identified for that. We believe Ben and I think they do a fair job summary summarizing it in the first one is is logo centrism and metal be familiar to some of the people who like the Gospel of John, but the idea of logo centrism basically means that the world makes sense. The second principle is is a a high view of man and the Christian that means man made in the image of God for the ancient Greeks that meant he had a divine art number different ways to look at that, but classical educators have a very high view of what a human being is third bears responsibility for the Western tradition. I emphasize the word responsibility.

There we don't have the right either to abandon or to abuse it. And thenceforth there is a truth oriented way of teaching of the content and the modes of teaching art are oriented toward students being able to perceive the truth and if you take those four elements.

We believe that you will cultivate wisdom and virtue in your students and strengthen your community. So what does classical education look like and say elementary school versus high school versus college right well first distant things that are common that the main commonness is that you're always focused on something excellent something noble think.

Philippians 416 seven whatever is true, whatever, just, whatever is noble, those sorts of things that leads to an emphasis on things like the great books Aesop's fables for younger children, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for older children, and when you get into college. You know you never, never do escape from those the ideas though you know they're the same ideas like that through the good and the beautiful no matter what age they are. But the biggest difference is that with the younger students. By nature they are more dependent.

You have to equip them to use the tools of truth fishing is done to put them in his poetry. Think like an apprenticeship know when when Leonardo da Vinci started his apprenticeship he was. He was basically taking horsehair is making paintbrushes out of them out by the time he was an adult, he was painting masterpieces that the world never seen before and that's how it works is that first is very different from the modern mind because at first you're very dependent on your teacher in a classical education, but the goal is always independent in the modern school and I am caricaturing here but in the modern school we pretend that the child is free and independent of the kindergartner but by the time he is in 12th grade.

He is a slave known to exaggerate but can't we don't teach them how to think independently and very ironic that way. So the difference really is the older they get, the more independent they get. Practically, that means you have kids memorizing quite a bit really at all the stages, but you can have memorize a lot in the lower school years. We go back we still believe in things like drilling math equations. We want kids to learn how to dance with numbers and you only can learn how to dance. If you step on each other's feet you'll get faster and faster and we believe in teaching foreign languages so especially Greek and Latin, and Hebrew. If possible, harder to get teachers for that but possible but but in all this. The goal is that they move toward independence in the discipline. First and freedom second. You touched on this already, but what really differentiates classical education from how most schools operate today and do you believe it is better or just a different approach to the second question I think is both better and different. I think it's a different kind of thing from what most modern educators are trying to do so. Let me defend that and let me say that I put this in extreme terms caricatures again because nobody does a really perfect classical education and nobody does a really perfect conventional education.

It's too bad on the classical side. It's a relief on the conventional side but but here's what I mean in conventional education and the people want me to I can document business. Three basic beliefs. The first is that there is no truth.

The second is that even if there is a truth we can't know it, and the third is that even if you could know the truth, you couldn't communicate it to another person person. That being the case, we don't teach our children and our schools to know the truth and to communicate it in the classical education. The whole thing is oriented toward knowing and communicating truth and this goes back to the arguments between Socrates and his is debating partners now in the classical tradition that the belief is that truth leads to freedom without born free to become free. When you live in truth, and therefore what classical education does is it cultivates freedom. What conventional education does is it worries all the time about control. An example of that would be the way in the in the state systems in America. You have increasing federal control all the time over the details of daily life in the in the local school so there's truth versus no truth, there is freedom versus control and ultimately the foundation of modern culture. The foundation of modern education if you if you can dig down to its foundations, you find there isn't one there is nothing there and modern thought is rooted on the foundation that Nietzsche explained was nothing and for the for the classicist there that the foundation is the nature of things that that things have a nature, the nature of things can be known in the nature of things needs to be respected and the goal of science class. For example, is not to overthrow nature, but to align ourselves with nature to live with nature. The goal of math classes to learn about the nature of of the human mind and how the nature of how the mind relates to the world outside of it, but I know that sounds really philosophical but is not.

It's extremely practical.

Either we can know the world outside the mind and we can't if you can't were in trouble. You're listening to policy matters of resource to listen to our radio show online and similar resources have a place of persuasion in your community to our website family alleging is classical education, something that can be incorporated or adapted into an existing school or does the school pretty much have to go in the direction of classical education or contemporary approach yeah I don't hold to appear is you on this. I think there is no such thing as the perfect classical school. So either you moving toward it or you're not right that's that's my priority. Therefore, any school can improve. I believe that any school first about is the question of orientation. Any school can reorient itself toward the truth focused learning instead of what we call pragmatism, but really it's just nihilism. The second thing is that it is hard right, it is hard because honestly, largely in part because positions get threatened. It's a lot easier and more efficient to teach kids classically for the simple reason that it's possible, but people are accustomed to doing things.

Certain ways they get paid to do things certain ways and have been trained to do things certain ways and those trainings and patterns inhabit know we like to talk about the revolutionaries in our culture, but we don't mean that when it comes to when it comes to our daily habits. We just mean that when it comes to what we buy on TV commercials so so it can be done by anybody in my encouragement would be to quantum first bar reorient yourself toward teaching to students to see the truth in his second do what you can take one step and who is classical education accessible in your opinion to students of all learning levels and abilities or is it best suited to just the brightest and most advanced gathering for everybody is that one of my favorite books is a book called simply classical by a lady named Cheryl Swope's who had to effort. I think she had two adopted children with severe learning disabilities and I believe they had a emotional component to them and she found to her astonishment that teaching them Latin, help them to be more peaceful.

To be more secure within themselves.

I've heard of kids with dyslexia, finding that they can read and lack while they can't read in English which is interesting. I think that might have to do with the very complicated nature of the, the English alphabet and Latin is simpler. I believe that that classical education has a simplicity to foundation to it that that kids with learning disabilities need more than anybody else and then it has because it has such a strong foundation. It has an upward reach that the best and the brightest really need to be seeking otherwise they just get cocky and think that they can do anything later as we talk about this one, presents this classical education have a North Carolina. It seems like more and more classical schools are popping up. Are you seeing a significant uptick in the number of classical schools around the state and if so, what do you attribute the growing level of interest. Yeah, I see a growing number of schools and also vast number of home educators going in the direction of homeschooling is growing. I don't think it think it is very huge yet you what. Maybe it's a percent or two of our students. Maybe it's more than that, but it's growing and is having an impact because it works so very well but in homeschoolers you're seeing just that I saw huge number of homeschoolers turning to it. Classical conversations is the homeschooling network. There's there's another look up Paideia Fellowship.

We surf is material located here in North Carolina and I I think that there is a very good presents for it in the state of North Carolina. The number one driving force behind classical education. In my observation is the love of mothers for their children, and I think if our country has a future hope it's because of that because mothers love their children so much that they're looking at what schools are doing, and they're saying wait a minute.

Is that what I actually want for my children and the mothers are paying an enormous price educate their children in the state of North Carolina and I think that's what's driving it more than anything else. Enter we are nearly out of time for this week, but I want to give you an opportunity to tell our listeners what types of resources. The sourcing Institute offers for both parents and educators who want to learn more about classical education and outworking they go to access those resources will take you the easiest thing to say is we have a website and thirsty and thirsty is CIR EE and there you can find podcasts. We have a blog, updated almost every day.

There are number of downloads that including our podcasts that are free and filled people should feel free to come and check that out. We also have conferences that they can learn about their we carry a number of books to men. We have an apprenticeship for teachers and homeschooling parents who want to master the art of classical teaching and if they don't have time for the apprenticeship, which is a three-year program. We have an atrium which is that of the doorway into the apprenticeship they need online for a couple meetings a month to read really good books. I think the easiest thing is to say got visit our website and you can learn about a number of the offerings that we have their and if you can pray for what were doing. We appreciate that more than anything website for listeners is again Circe Circe and that is spelled CIR CE and without Andrew Kern.

I want thank you so much for joining us on family policy matters this week and for your great work at the Circe Institute as you seek to preserve and promote the rich educational heritage of classical education than listening to family policy matters.

We hope you enjoyed the program and plenitude in again next week to listen to the show online insulin more about NC families worked encourage and inspire families across from Carlotta in our website it NC that's NC

Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family

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