We concluded our previous post with the observation that a robust view of human reason will not only include virtues of intellect but virtues of character as well. One virtue that lies at the heart of this intersection is the virtue of discernment. “Discernment” comes from the Latin word discernere meaning “to see, discern, distinguish, separate.” It may be used in a variety of contexts, for example, someone with a “discerning eye” may have a knack for identifying things of particularly good quality. When we talk about discernment as a virtue necessary for human flourishing, we mean the ability to distinguish or separate good from evil. This requires two things: recognition of a standard outside of oneself and an act of the will.
In this Classical Christian Education Corner, we continue our discussion of our new tagline, “preparing students for lives of faith, reason, and virtue” with a look at “reason”. It seems obvious that a school would have the cultivation of reason as a primary goal. Isn’t that what schools are for? This goal may not be as widespread as one would think, or hope, however. Certainly, some sort of knowledge and skills are objectives for any learning environment, but classical Christian schools operate with a more robust concept of human reason—one that is informed by the view of human nature mentioned in our previous post about faith. In that discussion, we said that one principle of a classical Christian education is: “there is more to this world than what is seen” — that the material world is not all there is; and, human beings, having been created in the image and likeness of God, are not mere material beings. What implications does this have for education?
First, education is not merely instrumental. It should not be designed primarily to help students meet their material needs and desires. The cultivation of reason, while certainly of instrumental value, is a good in itself. Subjects like grammar, Latin, Greek, and classic literature, and methods like memorization, critical thinking, debate, and rhetoric, can help students achieve many things, but they also enable students to develop well their God-given capacity for and delight in reason. A comparison to the body may help to illustrate. It’s good to exercise the body so that we can do the various things we need to, but it’s also good to cultivate physical capacities simply because the body is God’s gift and he designed us to delight in its activity. Developing our minds and bodies is part of what God intended for human flourishing.
Please join us for a Scripture-based prayer time on Monday mornings at 8:00 a.m. We are planning to meet in the Media Center for approximately 30 minutes. Younger siblings are welcome; please provide quiet activities for them to enjoy. You do not need to be part of the Trinitas Prayer Team to attend, and you don’t need to commit to every Monday. Please come when you are able. We will begin Monday, October 11.
We are happy to be able to invite chapel speaker guests again this year! If you know a priest, pastor, or someone else you think would enjoy speaking to our students and staff about SELF-DISCIPLINE, FRIENDSHIP, GRATITUDE, or FAITH, please contact Mrs. Poortenga.This post contains additional content available to members only. Please log in to view the full post.
Look for Virtue of the Quarter Home Connection materials in your student’s backpack for ideas of ways to talk about and practice SELF-DISCIPLINE at home. We also highly recommend each family obtain a copy of The Book of Virtues (grades 1-8) or The Children’s Book of Virtues (grades K-2), ed. William J. Bennett, to read and enjoy together. Note: Purchase anything from smile.Amazon.com, choose Trinitas Classical Association as your organization of choice, and Amazon will give a percentage of the purchase to Trinitas.
Our online apparel store has been re-opened for a short window. If you need more PE shirts or warmer layers for cooler weather, now is the time! Orders must be placed by Sunday, October 3.