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Reluctant Readers

Boys are more often reluctant readers than their female counterparts. I am comfortable laying some of the blame on our society’s expectation of boys. There is still a stigma attached to boys who are interested in reading but maybe not in sports. Too many schools overemphasize sports and pressure young people to be involved. The […]

Misues of Biblical Allusions

It’s true that children can learn to read without ever touching the classics or the ultimate classic, the Bible.  However, much of our modern (here I refer to anything written from the Renaissance forward) literature uses allusions, or references, to previous literary works.  Allusions to the Bible are prevalent until mid-20th Century writing.  A smattering […]

Ancient Literature

My September column prompted a reader to question me, “What is so great about all that ancient literature?” When I ask students to read, I want them to have several experiences in one. The text must present a viable theme, such as good conquers evil. I also like for the reading to show students how […]

Music and Critical Thinking

Critical thinking necessitates an ability to identify and properly assimilate all parts of the whole, whatever the subject. Recent studies are beginning to show a definite correlation between listening to intricate music (classical, for instance) and later abilities in math and science. These studies, started more than a decade ago, centered on exposing infants and […]

Studying Ancient Philosophers

Why study the ancient philosophers? Most scholars know that they lived under the ancient ideas of multiple gods who were not the one true God. So what is the point of their philosophy? As one student wrote, “Socrates lived long ago. He gave long speeches, so his friends poisoned him.” His long “speeches” were philosophical […]

Studying Philosophy

It is not possible to master critical thinking skills without a study of philosophy. This involves objective measuring and testing of ideas and then implementation of those ideas into set principles. While we often think this is what we do, it is usually that we approach implementation by first trying to fit the idea into […]