The Blackboard

Fact’s Two Faces: On the Masking of Children at School

Life is ambiguous, murky, rife with situations that elude dogma’s capture. When the seas get rough, however, our tolerance of this is one of the first things hucked overboard. For example: have we felt into what it’s like to be a five-year-old walking into school in the morning?

The Contradictions within My Students’ Request for Diverse Curricula

The imagined student’s intentions are honorable: to promote racial justice. But when the conversation begins, she has already set herself against the teacher and the course. The task of the teacher is to encourage her pursuit of justice while showing that the Great Books are not enemies, but allies. If this can be done, the student and teacher may even realize the same about each other.

Why We Must Recover Thinking as a Practice

Thinking as a practice places a check upon the self. It offers us a way out of our "res idiotica." If our universities are faithful to their missions, they must foster conditions where truth is free to be heard and sought.

Loving Education in the Time of COVID

The virus has given us many headaches, but it is also giving us an opportunity as we re-evaluate policies and practices and seek to care for one another and for our students.

An Education That Turns on Affection

Alex Sosler compares online and in-person education. Paradoxically, when we embrace the limits of our embodied existence and learn with and from particular classmates in a particular place from a particular teacher, affections develop. Imagination stirs.

Why I’m Fasting From Analogies

Education in the age of COVID is an opportunity for teachers and students to investigate the role of language in an intense real-world situation. Rachel Griffis considers the prevalence of analogies and the deeply troubling ways that irresponsible and unethical language is destroying civic life and communal bonds.

The Face of Education

As a new school year begins, Jon Schaff takes stock of the effects of Covid on education. Learning is relationship, and, if the point of college, as the very term “college” implies, is to come together for the enterprise of learning, that coming together has to be more than a name or face on a screen.

A Comedy with a Sad Ending: #MeToo and Pope’s Rape of...

Daniel Ritchie explores how the #MeToo movement affects our reading of Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. In turn, this comedy with a sad ending offers us a sense of balance for today's sexual politics.

Teaching (or Cultivating) Sustainability (or Inhabitance), Ten Years On

As utopian as "religious education" and "local food tours" may seem, that doesn't mean we can't approach them with a hope for real formation work in mind.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man: How to (Actually) Save Humanity

An empathetic approach to the kind of lofty goals named by Princeton’s aspiration to serve “humanity” might empower talented young people to serve their communities rather than selling out for personal financial success. You have to be very smart and very powerful to save the world, but serving your community begins with empathy, which is a trait we can all cultivate.