A Paradigm for Classical Education

with Ravi Jain and Kevin Clark
In this lecture, Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain introduce their paradigm for the Liberal Arts Tradition, which they abbreviate as PGMAPT: piety, gymnastic, music, arts (as in the seven liberal arts), philosophy, and theology. The first three of these (piety, gymnastic, and music) are featured mainly in lower school education, though they do extend throughout one’s education. As you will see, what is called music in the lower school is “education in wonder” or education that is “inspired by the muses.”

This lecture is part of their popular course called the Liberal Arts Tradition (based on their book of the same name) on ClassicalU.com.

Kevin-Clark1Dr. Kevin Clark is the Academic Dean at the Geneva School of Orlando, FL, where he teaches rhetoric and Christian thought and classical guitar. He is an Alcuin fellow with The Society for Classical Learning and a member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. Dr. Clark received his BA in Philosophy from the University of Central Florida and his MA in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. In May 2016 he successfully defended a doctoral thesis entitled The Hermeneutics of Interdisciplinarity for the Doctor of Liberal Studies degree at Georgetown University.

Kevin is captivated by the poetic, liturgical, and imaginative contexts for Christian liberal arts education. He is an active member of his local parish church, where he serves as a licensed reader and subdeacon. He is a lover of stories—especially reading them aloud together with his children. Andersen’s fairy tales, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia are perennial favorites. He dreams one day of walking the Camino de Santiago, the medieval pilgrimage trail from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Ravi-Jain1

Ravi Jain began teaching calculus and physics at The Geneva School in Orlando, FL, in 2003, and since that time has focused on understanding the role of math and science in a Christian classical curriculum. He has developed a unique integrated math and physics class that uses primary sources to discuss the narrative of discovery. His junior class, “The Scientific Revolution,” studies Kepler, Galileo, Pascal, and Newton, culminating in the Universal Law of Gravitation. He also teaches two senior classes: AP Calculus BC and AP Physics C. These classes lead the students through Faraday and Maxwell and culminate in Einstein’s groundbreaking 1905 manuscript on the relativity of space and time.

Ravi graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, where he developed a keen interest in both the natural sciences and the humanities. While a political science major with a near minor in classics, he also took a rigorous course of science classes as a pre-medical student and became a teaching assistant in both the physics and classics departments. Directly out of college he taught math through AP calculus at Seminole Presbyterian School in Tampa, FL, and then worked at two different churches in an associate pastoral role while completing an MA from Reformed Theological Seminary. He also earned a graduate certificate in mathematics from the University of Central Florida.

Ravi enjoys reading, being outdoors, and traveling abroad. He spends most of his free hours enjoying time with his wife, Kelley, and their two young sons, Judah and Xavier.

The Liberal Arts Tradition Tree
classical tree_improved

The Liberal Arts Tradition Tree
by Rachel Lockridge

View and Download Reading List (PDF)
View Reading List (HTML Format)

Classical Educator’s Reading List—Top 55 Books

Created by Dr. Christopher Perrin for ClassicalU.com Subscribers

Introductory Books
An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents (C. Perrin)
“The Lost Tools of Learning” (Essay by Dorothy Sayers)
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning (Douglas Wilson)
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Susan W. Bauer & Je Wise)
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Kevin Clark & Ravi Jain)
Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education (David Hicks)
Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning (Charles Evans & Robert Littlejohn)
For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School (Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)
Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America (Andrew Kern & Gene Veith)

History of Classical Education
The Republic (Plato)
Politics (Aristotle)
Institutes of Oratory (or The Education of an Orator) (Quintillian)
Early Christianity and Greek Paideia (W. Jaeger)
A History of Education in Antiquity (H.I. Marrou)
Education in Ancient Rome (Stanely R. Bonner)
The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture (Jean Leclercq)
How the Irish Saved Civilization (Thomas Cahill)
The Rise of the Universities (Charles Homer Haskins)
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century (Oliver DeMille)
The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What it Means to Be an Educated Human Being (Richard Gamble, editor)

Modern Education
The Abolition of Man: How Education Shapes Man’s Sense of Morality (C.S. Lewis)
Left Back: A Century of Battles over School Reform (Diane Ravitch)
The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876-1957 (Lawrence A. Cremin)
The Schools We Need: Why We Don’t Have Them (E. D. Hirsch, Jr.)
Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind (Mortimer J. Adler)
American Education: A History (Wayne J. Urban & Jennings L. Wagoner, Jr.)
The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills our Children Need–and What We Can Do about It (Tony Wagner)

Philosophy of Education
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Kevin Clark & Ravi Jain)
The Abolition of Man: How Education Shapes Man’s Sense of Morality (C.S. Lewis)
De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine or On Christian Teaching) (Augustine)
Great Ideas from the Great Books (Mortimer Adler)
Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (Stephen Turley)
Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator (David Diener)
The Idea of a University (John Henry Newman)
Ideas Have Consequences (Richard M. Weaver)

Mathematics & Science
A Mathematician’s Lament (Paul Lockart)
Measurement (Paul Lockart)
Innumeracy (John Allen Paulos)
The Divine Challenge: On Matter, Mind, Math, and Meaning (John Byl)
Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education (Stratford Caldecott)
The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy (Nancy Pearcey & Charles Thaxton)

Virtue and Embodiment
The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods (A. G. Sertillanges)
Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life at a Christian College (James W. Sire)
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation (James K. A. Smith)
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (James K. A. Smith)
Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classical Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination (Vigen Gurioian)
John Milton: Classical Learning and the Progress of Virtue (Grant Horner)

Scholé and Contemplation
Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation (Josef Pieper)
Leisure the Basis of Culture (Josef Pieper)
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace (Sarah Mackenzie)
Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series: Home Education (vol. 1) (Charlotte Mason)

Pedagogy, Art of Teaching
De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine or On Christian Teaching) (Augustine)
The Art of Teaching (Gilbert Highet)
Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning (Jacques Barzun)
The Seven Laws of Teaching (John Milton Gregory)
Why Students Don’t Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions about How the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom (Daniel T. Willingham)
Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education (James Taylor)
Socratic Circles: Fostering Critical and Creative Thinking in Middle and High School (Matt Copeland)
Teach Like a Champion: Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (Doug Lemov)

Dr. Perrin’s Top 10 List: 101 Version
An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents (C. Perrin)
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Kevin Clark & Ravi Jain)
The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What it Means to Be an Educated Human Being (Richard Gamble, editor)
How the Irish Saved Civilization (Thomas Cahill)
A Mathematician’s Lament (Paul Lockart)
The Abolition of Man: How Education Shapes Man’s Sense of Morality (C.S. Lewis)
The Schools We Need: Why We Don’t Have Them (E. D. Hirsch, Jr.)
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation (James K. A. Smith)
Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation (Josef Pieper)
The Seven Laws of Teaching (John Milton Gregory)

Dr. Perrin’s Top 10 List: 102 Version
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Kevin Clark & Ravi Jain)
Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education (David Hicks)
The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What it Means to Be an Educated Human Being (Richard Gamble, editor)
De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine or On Christian Teaching) (Augustine)
A Mathematician’s Lament (Paul Lockart)
The Abolition of Man: How Education Shapes Man’s Sense of Morality (C.S. Lewis)
Left Back: A Century of Battles over School Reform (Diane Ravitch)
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation (James K. A. Smith)
Leisure the Basis of Culture (Josef Pieper)
The Seven Laws of Teaching (John Milton Gregory)

Outline of Session
Discussion Questions
Assignments and Action Steps
  • Reading is best done within a community of learners. Consider starting or joining a classical education study group and begin with one of the texts reviewed above.
  • For reviews of Dr. Perrin’s Top 55 Books on Classical Education, categorized by topic, see his course An Introduction to Classical Education.

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