ILLA Blogs

Commentary and reviews by classical Lutheran education commentators.

Forbes: Whatever Happened to Common Core?

Peter Greene offers an interesting perspective in a July 12, 2018 article found in Forbes entitled Whatever Happened to Common Core? While not addressing philosophical issues underlying Common Core's creation, it does demonstrate how quickly something can become passe in the world of education.

Already in 2005, the CSRQ Center Report on Elementary School Comprehensive School Reform Models stated: "In 1998, education researcher Sam Stringfield observed, 'There is no shortage of programs that promise to turn around low-performing schools, but how can you tell which ones will live up to their claims?' Since those words were written, more than 500 distinct comprehensive school reform (CSR) approaches have been adopted in more than 5,000 schools across the country."

Classical Lutheran education is not a reform model. It is a renaissance. Dr. Veith's 1996 article Renaissance, Not Reform is as poignant today as it was 20 years ago . . .

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Rev. Joel A. Brondos
Veith's article is extremely difficult to find online. Websites which used to carry it no longer have those pages available. I jus... Read More
Friday, 13 July 2018 13:04

Marshall McLuhan and The Classical Trivium

McLuhanMany people quickly associate the name "Marshall McLuhan" with his quip "The medium is the message."

Not as many are aware, however, that McLuhan held a doctorate from Cambridge University or that his dissertation, The Classical Trivium: The Place of Thomas Nashe in the Learning of His Time.

McLuhan mapped out the Trivium from its earliest days and through Augustine, Abelard, and Erasmus through to Thomas Nashe, following a structure of Grammar, Dialectics, and Rhetoric for each stage.

This work is not for the timid initiate, but it is replete with thought-provoking perspectives, references, and citations which ought not be overlooked. A sample:

"One can see here a typical instance of the problems which unavoidably arise when a Christian thinks that the disciplines which he has learned are fundamentally sound, but have to be transformed by grace. Thus St. Augustine felt that all of Cicero's doctrines had to be overhauled. He was in a position to do it; for with the great Christian orators of the four centuries before him, Roman eloquence was coming back to life in the purity of the Ciceronian ideal; not merely the written eloquence of Quintilian. The difference was that instead of addressing men to guide them toward the common good of the city as Brutus, Crassus, Cicero, and others had done, St. Augustine and the Christian orators resorted to eloquence to  guide Christians to God and the common good of the City of God."

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Hemingway's Reading List for a Young Writer (1934)

141217 ernest hemingway 11The OpenCulture website includes an interesting story about a young writer's interaction with Ernest Hemingway which includes a reading list which Hemingway wrote down for the writer.

While classical Lutheran educators probably wouldn't use the reading list as it is, it is still quite informative in a number of different ways. If you'd like to read the article, click HERE.

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Student Writing Examples

I've often wanted to show my students the exemplary work of other students their age just to give them some idea of what is possible. Andrew Pudewa's Institute for the Excellence in Writing (IEW) offers samples of such compositions: http://magnumopusmagazine.com/home/

Perhaps classical Lutheran education schools would like to organize a writing contest or engage in online spelling bees, geography bees, and Bible bees?

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Common Core Nose Dive

The Education InvasionJoy Pullman, executive editor of The Federalist, recently blogged about the nose dive in math scores on standardized tests in California. Pullman correlates the data this of this decline to the adoption of Common Core.

Will we see a comparable decline in all states which have adopted Common Core standards?

Amazon.com carries her book, The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids, and Issues, Etc. recently conducted an interview with her.

A Wikipedia entry: Mathematically Correctwas a U.S.-based website created by educators, parents, mathematicians, and scientists who were concerned about the direction of reform mathematics curricula based on NCTM Standards Created in 1997. It was a frequently cited website in the so-called Math wars, and was actively updated until 2003. The website went offline sometime in late 2012 or early 2013 but has been preserved on the Internet Archive.

I wish someone would resurrect this site. It shows that problems with math curricula are not unique to Common Core, especially in California. It has been going on for quite some time.

Lutheran schools get it wrong when they emulate public schools in methods and curricula, attempting to improve enrollment numbers by demonstrating that they are "just as good" as public schools while adding some Bible stories.

Classical Lutheran education represents an entirely different educational philosophy while  featuring a catechetical program which shows the distinctively evangelical character of Lutheran orthodoxy.

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