As we enter the holiday season, a time of reflection, worship, and gift-giving, consider giving family members and friends an instructive book on education. To help guide you, here is a list of great books on Christian, classical education for you to share with those who may enjoy reimagining all that education is and can be.
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
In this 20th century classic, C.S. Lewis offers a stirring critique of modern education and offers a way forward through classical education. Students at Clapham read many works by Lewis, a British author and Christian intellectual who was a central figure among the "Inklings." This is an accessible read with profound implications about how Christians ought to educate their children.
The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl Trueman
In our late modern world, deep confusion has emerged regarding what it means to be human. In this historical exploration, Grove City professor Carl Trueman traces the development of the modern self and the role education plays in forming our self-conception as human beings. Carl Trueman is a historical theologian teaching at Grove City College.
You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith
This book is a few years old now, but I keep coming back to it for Smith’s insights on humans as worshipping creatures who formed by embodied practices and habits. Connecting Aristotle and Augustine, this book confirms the important role teachers play everyday in their classrooms. James K. A. Smith is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College.
Consider This by Karen Glass
Have you ever wondered how classical education relates with the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason? Glass makes a compelling case for the vital relationship between classical Christian education and Charlotte Mason pedagogy. The "and" of her subtitle is perhaps the key thesis of the book. Karen Glass is part of the Advisory board of AmblesideOnline and has years of experience as a homeschool mom.
A Classical Guide to Narration by Jason Barney
Narration, or telling back what is read or heard, is taking off in the classical school world. In this short guide, Jason Barney, Clapham School’s previous academic dean, offers a helpful summary to the practice of narration and how this learning tool fits within the broader classical tradition. Jason is now Principal at Coram Deo Academy in Indianapolis and regularly produces materials for educationalrenaissance.com.
The Liberal Arts Tradition by Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain
There is perhaps no better summary of Christian, classical education than this book. Building on the first wave of the renewal movement in the 90’s with the rediscovery of the Trivium, Clark and Jain show how the seven classical liberal arts fit within the broader Christian tradition of passing on paidea to the next generation. Ravi Jain teaches math and science at The Geneva School in Orlando. Kevin Clark is the founder and president of The Ecclesial Schools Initiative.
Wisdom and Eloquence by Robert Littlejohn and Charles Evans
It is not everyday that the author of one of your favorite books on education becomes your head of school! This book, co-authored by Clapham School’s interim head of school Chuck Evans, offers a helpful summary of Christian, classical education and how the mathematical arts of the Quadrivium play an essential role in the classical tradition. Chuck's co-author, Robert Littlejohn, serves as Head of School at Covenant School of Dallas.
Hopefully this list gives you a taste of the exciting ideas present here at Clapham and inspires you to explore the rich educational heritage your children learn here.