Common Arts Education

Common Arts Education

by Christopher Hall
Trade Paperback, 276 pages
Price: $10.95

The academic foundations of classical education do not alone guarantee human flourishing. The liberal arts—the trivium and quadrivium—represent the core frameworks for cultivating virtue and practicing skills vital to our life in the world. And yet, they alone are insufficient, for we must eat, heal, defend ourselves, trade, build, find our way around, and more. It may seem evident that the common arts should be an integral part of education, and yet we see that every generation is losing skill in the common arts as we increasingly rely upon others to provide them for us. In Common Arts Education, author Chris Hall provides not only an argument for an integrated liberal, fine, and common arts pedagogy, but also some practical advice for crafting a robust, hands-on curriculum.

Beginning with the story of the classroom experiences that led him to explore the common arts as a vector for the liberal and fine arts, the author outlines a vision for the resonance between the arts, supplies concrete steps that teachers can take to implement a common arts curriculum, and provides a series of experiences to try in any classroom, at any grade level. As you read, you will find the liberal arts applied, the fine arts situated, and the common arts revealed as a critical element of a classical education.

The practical application chapters of Common Arts Education offer background information; considerations such as the space and supplies needed for teaching each common art; “plug-and-play” lists of the basic skills that students should practice for each art; and resources for further reading. The author discusses 13 common arts, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Navigation
  • Medicine
  • Cooking
  • Woodworking
  • And much more!

Discover how the common arts provide the practical, artisanal elements of a holistic education and allow students to become not only fully functional in his or her knowledge, but fully charitable in the world!

“And having thus passed the principles of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and geography, with a general compact of physics, they may descend in mathematics to the instrumental science of trigonometry, and from thence to set forward all these proceedings in nature and mathematics, what hinders but that they may procure, as oft as shall be needful, the helpful experiences of hunters, fowlers, fishermen, shepherds, gardeners, apothecaries . . . And this will give them such a real tincture of natural knowledge, as they shall never forget, but daily augment with delight.

 —John Milton, "Of Education”

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