#42: Adam Andrews and the Elements of Literature

Welcome to Season 4 of The Classical Homeschool Podcast. At the Classical Homeschool Podcast, our heart is to take on the work of wrestling through the, sometimes difficult and philosophical, ideas presented throughout the classical education movement and bring them down to earth, specifically and practically for the classical homeschooling mom. This season we are focusing our efforts on understanding the moral imagination in relationship to classical education with our spine text of Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian and, of course, Norms and Nobility by David Hicks.

Adam Andrews received his B.A. in Political Economy and Christian Studies from Hillsdale College in 1991. He earned his M.A. in History from the University of Washington in 1994, and is currently a candidate for the Ph.D. in History. He is writing his doctoral dissertation on the history of American higher education. Adam is a Henry Salvatori Fellow of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and was a founding board member of Westover Academy, a Classical Christian school in Colville, Washington. He is the assistant director of the American Council for Accredited Certification, a non-profit professional certifying body.

His Mission

Adam with his wife, Missy, founded the Center for Literary Education in 2003 to help parents and teachers provide high-quality instruction in the important disciplines of the mind.

Many of these disciplines have been lacking in American education for decades, and a return to greatness in the next generation requires that we reclaim them. The Center for Literary Education exists to help parents and teachers give their students facility with ideas, making it possible for them to rise to positions of influence and authority in their society.

We believe that influence and leadership opportunities will eventually go to those who know how to handle ideas, and that education, if is to be rightly so called, must deal with ideas first and foremost.

Since the beginning of human civilization, men of influence—leaders—have always concerned themselves with ideas; they have been familiar with the eternal questions, familiar with the usual answers, conversant with the long-running debates. The record of their intellectual journey remains for us to contemplate, written down in the literature of the western world. The ability to read and understand this literature is a necessary and crucial part of a sound education.

In the American literature of last 150 years, we find one of the most chilling portraits of the crisis of modernity ever recorded. Some of the greatest writers of this period, from Stephen Crane and Jack London to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, provide in their works a window into the plight of the modern soul. Having denied the relevance, authority, and very existence of God, many such modern authors floundered in their search for someone to replace Him. Their works thus powerfully demonstrate the consequence of such a denial: the destruction of certainty in all its forms.

To a great extent, we 21st century Americans live in a world bequeathed to us by the thinkers of our recent past: a world devoid of certainty. We must look to a new generation of leaders to help us restore the philosophical and spiritual foundations of our culture. Leaders of this new generation will depend upon a sound literary education: the ability to interact with the arguments of history’s most thoughtful men.

The Center for Literary Education strives to help produce such leaders by equipping parents and teachers to understand, analyze, and interpret great literature, so that they can pass these critical skills on to their students. To this end, it provides seminars and curriculum materials designed to make the basic techniques of literary analysis clear and accessible to teachers and students alike.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV

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One thought on “#42: Adam Andrews and the Elements of Literature”

  1. Awesome episode! I loved your Plato quip around understanding the parts, the whole, and the connections between them. But I’m ill-versed in Plato. Could you please point me to those pages? I’d like to delve into it more deeply. Thanks again for a great podcast!

    John

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