Here at Hillsdale College, we promote the founding of classical schools, and excellence in their teaching and operations, so that American schoolchildren may be educated in the liberal arts and sciences and receive instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue. We refer to this education as American classical education. What is American classical education, exactly? What does it look like within the walls of a particular school?
At Hillsdale College we know—from both experience and principle—the authority that teachers and parents have in the noble work of education. We profess this in all that we do, but especially through our work in K-12 education. No remote system of control or bureaucracy can supplant the knowledge, interests, and love that local communities bring to bear—primarily through parents and teachers—on the education of the young. As Hillsdale was founded to advance education, we will ever promote these great truths and the practices that arise from them. It is our mission, and we will not shrink from it.
We all want to be good. We think things like honesty and kindness are important. Then why are some of us dishonest and unkind? In my fourth-grade classroom this year, we are working to understand the difference between valuing something and actually doing it. A value is something we intellectually hold as important, but a… Continue reading Values vs. Virtues
For me, February is the longest month of the school year. Boasting only 28 days, the weeks seem to drag on as we slog through classes. My students feel it too. Some who started the school year off with a fantastic work ethic and a sense of energy and excitement are now struggling to complete… Continue reading Protect Their Hearts
Every educational model flows from some idea of what it means to be human. Even if such a philosophical worldview is never made explicit or even consciously considered, it is still at work in all practical education, since educators can only profess to improve their students if they have some sense of what those students… Continue reading Minds and Hearts
Prior to working as a teacher at a Hillsdale College-affiliated BCSI school, I held several different jobs in traditional public education. Working with students from Pre-K through 12th grade, I served as an ESL paraprofessional, library aide, and preschool recess monitor, among other roles. I had the privilege to observe many experienced, compassionate educators and… Continue reading Prior to working as a teacher at a Hillsdale College K-12 school…
At Seven Oaks Classical School, we've had our two winter concerts and, even though I've been planning this music since April, I finally saw a theme peeking through. It's a theme that frequently pops up in classic winter songs, including one we sang recently: Lo, how a rose e'er blooming / From tender stem hath… Continue reading Spring is Coming
"The beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole."- Aristotle We often advertise classical education as an education for the whole human person. We are not training people for careers, we say, but minds for Wisdom; we aim not to improve skill sets so much as we aim to improve the human… Continue reading The First Step toward Wisdom
Self portrait, by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1790). The most frequent piece of advice I have given students over the years is to slow down on art assignments. It is very easy to become impatient in the studio and want to skip steps or move forward prematurely. Admittedly, I am guilty of often becoming… Continue reading Quality Over Quantity