Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Political Revolution Within Education

Coming Soon!!

Next week is going to be a busy one for Classical Conversations, and I want you to come along! Stay tuned for details on my upcoming events.

Monday, July 20, I'll be in Raleigh, speaking at a luncheon for the John Locke Foundation's Shaftesbury Society. My topic is The Classical Mind: A Political Revolution within Education. Click here for details and lunch tickets.

To give you a taste of what I'll be talking about, here are a few notes from my speech:
Parents come to Parent Practicums to learn about classical education and they leave with the sense that they can be powerful because I ask two questions.

1) Why do you let the state dictate your standards of education? and
2) Why would you send your children to the same school system that prepared you to NOT be able to teach Algebra or foreign languages to a child?

As parents wrestle with the answers to these questions, they begin the detachment process from the state and feel the desire to become what C.S. Lewis called “men with chests,” a person whose heart now attaches their brain to their bodies and allows them to become whole.

As soon as a person’s educational paradigm shift towards personal freedom, his or her financial and political and philosophical paradigms soon follow. What do we get? Families hungry for the freedom of self-government in all arenas. We get revolutionaries.
Hope to see you there!

Love, Leigh

**UPDATE: Video of the John Locke speech is now available online. Click here to watch.


Andrea said...

Leigh, I would have been there if I lived within a four hour drive of your luncheon! Additionally, I would have loved to attend your talks and others in Concord. Are recordings or notes available for any of these talks?
Thank you for posting your thesis! I am enjoying the read and the following conversations with my husband.
Enjoy today, Andrea in Texas

1 Smart Mama said...

Recordings for the CiRCE Conference will be available soon (see their website: Heather Shirley's reflections on the conference will show up on 1 Smart Mama sometime early next week. Working on putting notes from the John Locke speech on soon.

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the site!

1 Smart Mama said...

Video of the John Locke speech available here:


Michelle B of NC said...

I am a christian and public high school educator. I chose to become a teacher (as my third career starting at age 40) because I felt a call from the Lord, and have a great heart for our nation's children, especially teens. I also have four children of my own ages 8-15, who have attended public schools all their life. I recognize the necessity for massive improvement in our national public education system. As I listened to one of your introductory speeches, you quoted that our public education system is not teaching multiplication facts. This is not the truth. All my children have learned their multiplication facts in public school. They also are taking grammer and Latin I in a public charter school. Please know that as I have not met you, nor mean any disrespect, the truth must be known about what our public education system is teaching and not teaching.

There are many christian teachers and leaders employed in our public schools, as well as christian children who attend our public schools. If we were all to have a mass exodus, as advocated by your organization, where would the light of Christ shine in our public schools? I believe when the Lord said to "go and make disciples of all nations", we are to go everywhere, not hide in a safe world of christians only. I am proud to be a high school teacher, and gratful to have the opportunity to teach teenagers of all backgrounds and faiths. My students know I am a christian by the way I live and treat them. Yes, when they ask me what I did over the weekend, I let them know, things like; I sang in choir at my church, or I attended a church retreat, or I watched my son lead worship in youth group. They know I am a christian and show respect to me.

Please make sure your organization speaks the truth about the subjects, learning objectives, etc found in our national and state public education system. All curriculum objectives for NC can be found at

Thank you for your organzations's work to build a nation of competent citizens and disciples for Jesus Christ.

Sincerely, One Smart Mama in Public Education.
M. Bardsley Greensboro, NC

1 Smart Mama said...


I'm glad you are one smart mama in education, and I'm sure many students know some of their multiplication tables, but I challenge you to find the same modern mandate as Ray's arithmetic which required memorizing up to 20 x 20 and the fractional tables. My family is still struggling with these as well as the common squares and cubes through 1000.

I also know college teachers who lament over the loss of basic multiplication skills by the time the students get to college. Calculators in high school atrophy their speed and accuracy.
You can conclude that these are anecdotal stories, but the NAEP data supports my statements.

As far as public education, it is a funny thing to me to claim to be a Christian then think it is okay to turn one's children's minds to a non-Christian world view for the better part of their waking hours. I pray your children will not be among the 80% who grow up in families with your view of public education and then turn away from the church as soon as they leave home.

If you succeed, you are a much smarter mama than I could ever be.

All my best in your endeavors.
Leigh Bortins