A Note about Modern Mathematics in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

A Note about Modern Mathematics in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

by William Michael -
Number of replies: 0

Dear friends,

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, I have given students access to all of the resources they need to study all of the concepts in modern mathematics--from elementary Arithmetic all they way up to Trigonometry and Calculus.  

These courses, however, are intended to supplement studies in classical Mathematics--not replace them.  And, for most students, they are being used as a replacement for classical studies, which, in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, makes no sense.  I receive messages from students waiting for more resources in modern Mathematics courses--but I'm waiting for more students in classical Mathematics courses.

I am going to be turning my attention away from modern Mathematics courses in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy to focus on teaching the classical liberal arts--four of which are mathematical arts.  I believe that Catholic parents are erring by neglecting these traditional studies and pushing their children to devote an inordinate amount of time to modern, practical mathematics courses, likely from some anxiety about college or career concerns.  I encourage them to look into the philosophical and historical origins of the modern Math-focused curriculum and ask why the saints and wise men of history did not devote their attention to these practical studies.  

All of the modern Mathematics courses will remain on the Academy Study Center so students can work through them--and I believe that this is the best set of mathematics courses students will find anywhere today.  I will be posting the answer keys that were published with these texts so students and parents can refer to them as they work through the exercises in each course.  I will happily help students who post questions about these courses on the course support forums.  I will not, however, be directing my time and energy to an attempt to create some super modern Math program because I believe it is a waste of time.  Catholic children should be following Aristotle and Aquinas, not Bacon and Descartes.

Catholic students will be much better served by an education that establishes a strong foundation in the classical liberal arts, classical philosophy and Catholic theology.  

This is where I recommend parents focus their children's attention.  There are many ways to satisfy whatever modern Math studies are needed (including college courses).  There are not many ways to satisfy the duties of Catholic parents as regards the education of our children. Everyone would be much better off if Catholic students were inspired, through philosophical and theological studies, to religious vocations or, at least, true Wisdom for use in secular vocations.  More study in modern mathematics will not help any of the problems  our children face in this life.

The Church and the world needs Catholic students who know and can use the classical liberal arts, classical philosophy and Catholic theology.  These must be the focus of our work in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. 

 I strongly encourage parents to direct students to the study of Classical Arithmetic and Classical Geometry, and I will be providing tutorial resources to help them in these studies.

God bless,
Mr. William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy