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Overview of the Revised Edition of The Liberal Arts Tradition

with Dr. Kevin Clark of The Ecclesial Schools Initiative

In this lecture, Dr. Kevin Clark gives you a survey of The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Revised Edition) in 30 minutes. This is the book that he coauthored with Ravi Scott Jain and which they recently revised substantially. Please also see their course on ClassicalU with this content (based on their first edition but still fully endorsed by the authors).

Dr. Kevin Clark

Dr. Kevin Clark is the president of The Ecclesial Schools Initiative (ESI, esischools.org), an organization he founded in 2019 to help underserved families in Florida receive better access to Christian liberal arts education. Before founding ESI, Kevin served as academic dean of the Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida, where he also taught for fifteen years. Kevin is an Alcuin fellow with The Society for Classical Learning and a member of the teaching faculty in the Master of Arts in Classical Teaching program at The Templeton Honors College. Kevin earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Central Florida, an MA in theological studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, and a DLS from Georgetown University, where he wrote on liberal arts education and interdisciplinary practice.

Kevin is not simply a philosopher, however; he loves stories—especially reading them aloud to his children—and thinks Sarah Mackenzie’s Read-Aloud Revival might save the world. He understands his vocation as a Christian educator to be in service of the Church and the family as they seek to train children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This means that for Kevin, Christian classical education is not simply a matter of academic preparation; it’s about seeing Christ’s Church flourish as a new generation of men and women bring the wisdom, beauty, and justice of New Creation to bear for God’s glory and the life of the world.

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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