The Catholic Culture Podcast: Ep. 74 – What Is Classical Christian Education?


May 4, 2020

Modern education treats the child as a blank slate, a malleable
object to be formed according to the will of whoever has power over
educational policy. Classical Christian education treats the child
as a person made in the image of God, a mystery to be held in awe,
and tends to the flowering of his already-given nature by leading
him to wisdom and virtue.

Andrew Kern, founder of the CiRCE Institute (Center for
Independent Research on Classical Education), is one of the best
guests Thomas has ever interviewed. In this episode he leads us
through the profound basics of classical Christian
education—offering a radically different view of the human person
and of reality itself from that which predominates today.


[5:31] What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

[10:31] What is a classical education? It is simply a list of
great books one must study?

[15:58] Teaching “subjects” vs. the seven liberal arts

[21:18] Using music to illustrate a number of ideas about
classical education

[28:20] The need for the art of rhetoric in a sophisticated
political system like ours

[31:04] The generative power of form

[37:35] Respecting the “Holy of Holies” within the child—an
image of God and a mystery

[42:38] Each of the seven liberal arts has a form and skill,
tending to wisdom and virtue

[55:14] How mastering the liberal arts glorifies God

[59:35] Classical education has no ‘method’

[1:09:39] The seven stages of a lesson

[1:15:13] Services offered by the CiRCE Institute

[1:23:09] How would a classical school teach “practical” skills
like finance?

[1:30:19] Practical concerns of parents hoping to educate their
children classically


Ask Andrew your own questions, live—Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9
ET in May

Older Ask Andrew podcast feed

CiRCE Institute

Books recommended by Andrew:

The best book on classical Christian education: Norms and
by David Hicks

CiRCE’s upcoming book edited by David Kern, including essays by
past Catholic Culture Podcast guests James Matthew Wilson and
Anthony Esolen (and a poem by past guest Dana Gioia): 30 Poems
to Memorize (Before It’s Too Late)

C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image

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