On the Place of the Political and the Transcendent in Education

 · 1 min read
 · Daniel C. Gibson

Are you exhausted by the partisan rancor that has engulfed our schools? Do you resent the incessant indoctrination going on in classrooms and wonder what can be done? It begins with recognizing the difference between the symptoms and the disease.

While it is no secret that K-12 education in America has become a hotbed of puerile activism, the challenge is to see beyond the immediate controversies. The answer to the toxic politicization of our schools is not an equally puerile counter-activism. We do not need ideological “balance.” What we need is a reorientation toward the transcendent.

The classical classroom is not simply stacked with political allies, similarly intent on rearranging the shadows in the cave for “our” side. No, classical schools are filled with teachers leading students on an ascent up out of the cave, so that in maturity, they will become virtuous citizens whose love of country begins with an allegiance to the truth. All education is inherently political, but done right, it is concerned with wisdom, not winning; with understanding not activism.

Winston Churchill famously said that “[t]he empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” At Columbus Classical Academy, we are building empires of knowledge and virtue. We will not bend our instruction to the fleeting controversies of the moment, but neither will we preoccupy ourselves with those small-minded partisans who insist on making our schools instruments of political expedience.