Candlelites

Everything from Everywhere

no, a classical education is not impossible to revive in america

no, a classical education is not impossible to revive in america News Article With The full text news. The Resource Link is down the post and you can View this News Article in the source page.



no, a classical education is not impossible to revive in america

several months ago, a colleague handed me david hicks’ classic work of conservative pedagogy, “norms and nobility.” first published in 1981, hicks’ book argues that the ancient greeks embedded in their literature and history the goal of forming (through paideia, education) young men into an ideal type. from that premise, hicks constructs a specific argument about the value of a great books-centered education and how that approach summons the student to develop his heart and soul into pursuing the good, the true, and the beautiful.i appreciated hicks’ analysis, in part because he brought out some excellent observations about ancient literature. yet i find flawed the presupposition that education should lead a student to fit into an ideal type. i also doubt that the greeks, who for all their universal humane vision struggled with basic ethical categories, unveiled the ideal type of humanity.this last school year, hicks wrote an essay, “is classical education still possible?” to my shock, he answered no. hicks denied the possibility (not the practice, but the very possibility) of conducting truly classical education in twenty-first-century america. here i respond and propose a definition of classical education that provides hope in place of hicks’s pedagogical despair.classical ed is not strong enough medicine for our diseasehicks’ tone is one of dismay. reflecting on his 50 years in education, he writes, “it’s hard to make this backward glance without cyni...