Friendship is essential to happiness, but is in precipitous decline. What can we do about it ?

Americans are suffering from an epidemic of loneliness as fewer and fewer of us enjoy the benefit of real friendships. The personal and social impact is significant and serious, leading to an upsurge in isolation that is transforming our lives and our communities—and not for the better.  

It used to be the case that parents could take for granted the idea that their children would learn how to develop friendships at school, but increasingly that seems not to be the case. Indices of social health suggest that the consequences are dire. In this remarkable commentary, Thomas Hibbs, the new president of the University of Dallas, explains why friendship is essential to human happiness, the significance of its conspicuous decline, and what we as parents and educators can do about it.

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Remembering Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America and the Habits of (Young) Hearts

…students at OLMC School read selections from Democracy in America to learn from Tocqueville as they begin to prepare to assume the mantle of responsibility for their country. More importantly, though, as students at a school that fosters the habits of shared inquiry and a common academic pursuit, they come to understand the vitality of a learning community organized around a love for truth, goodness, and beauty—and consequently, for one another.

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The OLMC Approach to STEM

“Technology alone is not enough - it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that makes our hearts sing.” ~Steve Jobs

…Many experts predict that more than 50% of the jobs that will exist in the next decade don’t exist now. That means that, especially within STEM professions, students will need to be nimble, innovative, and undaunted by the unpredictable - exactly what a classical liberal arts education offers.

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How Music and Memorization Can Save Our Failing Schools

While the common-sense approach to early childhood education was standard practice for centuries, it has been abandoned in recent years. Shunning rote learning, we have instead told young children to draw on their own (limited) experience or feelings when completing school assignments…

From The Imaginative Conservative:

https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/10/music-memorization-can-save-failing-schools-annie-holmquist.html

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Wilfred McClay on Teaching American History, the Trouble with Howard Zinn, and ‘Land of Hope’

“Students should learn that history is not merely an inert account of self-explanatory details, but is a task of reflection that calls to our deepest sense of our humanity.”

Author Wilfred McClay explains the trouble with how American history is taught today, why a grasp of our history is so essential to being an informed citizen, and why there is a hunger for a non-partisan telling of America’s story.

From Encounter Books:

Wilfred McClay on Teaching American History, the Trouble with Howard Zinn, and ‘Land of Hope’

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Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong

In the early grades, U.S. schools value reading-comprehension skills over knowledge. The results are devastating…

What if the medicine we have been prescribing is only making matters worse, particularly for poor children? What if the best way to boost reading comprehension is not to drill kids on discrete skills but to teach them, as early as possible, the very things we’ve marginalized…

From The Atlantic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/08/the-radical-case-for-teaching-kids-stuff/592765/

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OLMC Drama Department Delivers Powerful Performance of Sophocles' Antigone

…After spending months bringing Antigone to life, they have rightly learned to be impatient with the gleeful hostility and opportunistic grandstanding that so often passes for leadership today. Now that they have experienced for themselves the lessons Sophocles imparted through his characters, they are starting to understand the crucial but often subtle differences between genuine civil discourse and a Twitter war, and they are learning to demand the former. Even more importantly, they are training to become leaders who restore humility and truthfulness to politics…

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Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers

…I once had a janitor compare his mystical experiences with those of the medieval Sufi al-Ghazali’s. I once had a student of redneck parents—his way of describing them—who read both parts of Don Quixote because I used the word “quixotic.” A mother who’d authorized for her crippled son a risky surgery that led to his death once asked me with tears in her eyes, “Is Kant right that the consequences of an action play no role in its moral worth?” A wayward veteran I once had in Basic Reasoning fell in love with formal logic and is now finishing law school at Berkeley.

The fire will always be sparked. Are we going to fan it, or try to extinguish it?

From The Atlantic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/plato-to-plumbers/361373/?fbclid=IwAR27QO_LtaFZuG5EClj4ZF--kaJQ6sE80ZgP2TiSy0YHCpRDCiT3vCkpjME

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