Beauty in the Word
Rethinking the Foundations of Education
Foreward by Anthony Esolen
If you want to read just one sensible, balanced book that brilliantly synthesizes themes and issues in Catholic education - this is the one. It's not a rant nor is it a dry academic book. Caldecott's writing exudes graciousness and reads like a series of meditations. I've reread this book every summer for the last four or five years. It never fails to inspire and settle.
I’d make this book required reading for anyone remotely involved in education. If you're the sort to underline as you read, then keep a pencil sharpener handy.
Besides being insightful, Caldecott was also a huge fan of the MCU. So, he was cool too.
The first of many excerpts to come. Stratford Caldecott (1953-2014)
The central idea of the present book is very simple. It is that education is not primarily about the acquisition of information. It is not even about the acquisition of ‘skills’ in the conventional sense, to equip us for particular roles in society it is about how we become more human (and therefore more free, in the truest sense of that word). This is a broader and a deeper question but no less practical. Too often we have not been educating our humanity. We have been educating ourselves for doing rather than for being. We live in an excessively activist civilization, in which contemplation and interiority are often despised and surpassed in favour of mere action and reaction. The task before us is not only to renew the foundations of education, but to rediscover our own relationship to Being (the secret of childhood), and our place in a cosmos that is beautiful in the Word.