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The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being

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4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Frustrated with the continuing educational crisis of our time, concerned parents, teachers, and students sense that true reform requires more than innovative classroom technology, standardized tests, or skills training. An older tradition—the Great Tradition—of education in the West is waiting to be heard. Since antiquity, the Great Tradition has defined education first an ...more
Paperback, 690 pages
Published January 15th 2009 by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (first published September 1st 2007)
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David Huff
Mar 18, 2017 David Huff rated it it was amazing
A deep and wide anthology of essays spanning about 2,400 years, from ancient Greece through the 20th century, The Great Tradition is a long but very worthwhile read. And, it’s very helpful that the essays only run from 4-15 pages or so each: these are thoughtful writers, and you’ll want (sometimes need) to pace yourself.

The topic of these essays is education, and what it means to be equipped with wisdom, virtue and perspective, rather than merely facts. As the introduction notes, the Great Tradi
...more
David Withun
Sep 05, 2014 David Withun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
It is widely recognized now that Western education is in a state of crisis and has been for more than a generation. What is, unfortunately, not widely recognized is the source of this crisis. With each attempt at reform, public education in the United States slips further away from authentic education into a vast abyss of Western self-hatred, technical and vocational training, and, ultimately, nihilism. What Richard Gamble offers here is that great chorus of voices that adjures and admonishes us ...more
Jessica
Nov 07, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you are done with this book you want to go on a crusade to change education to seek and love the good and beautiful wherever you can find it. This is a compilation of pertinent selections from Ancient Times to Modern times with authors like Isocrates, Plato, Petrarch, Hugh of St. Victor, C.S. Lewis, and more.
Donald Linnemeyer
Jul 08, 2012 Donald Linnemeyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
This has a fabulous selection from authors from the classics on. The ECF selections are really helpful in showing how careful the early church was in using pagan classics, and the reformation resources were interesting. Luther, especially. He's always entertaining, and he doesn't disappoint when talking about education (2-3 hour school days, no devil's-dung philosophy, and all for languages and music).

Oh, and it's slightly disappointing that it doesn't have anything prior to Plato, but that's pr
...more
Ryan Handermann
Nov 07, 2010 Ryan Handermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
I have read various selections. This is a great resource for Christian teachers. A wide variety of known and unknown authors, from Plato to Rhabanus Maurus. Much of this stuff is about a Christian view of pagan literature. Two specifics:

Basil's Sermon (To Young Men, on How they might Derive Profit from Pagan Literature): timely, insightful, and very helpful for me as someone who teaches pagan literature to young people. Basically, he says that we should be bees, moving from pagan flower to pagan
...more
D.N.
Out of the handful of 'Western Readers' I've used as a resource, "The Great Tradition" might be the best. Gamble has painstakingly arranged selections from Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, Basil, Augustine, Hugh of St Victor, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Erasmus, Edmund Burke, John Henry Newman, Thomas Arnold, Albert Jay Nock, Dorothy Sayers, C. S. Lewis, and Eric Voegelin (to name a few) in an appealing format. As Gamble notes in the Introduction, "this co ...more
Matt
Jul 10, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great selections and good introductions!
Jenny
Aug 14, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
The selections are comprehensive and well-chosen, and the intros/commentaries are helpful. I particularly appreciate the many selections from church fathers and medievals.
Leila
Oct 29, 2007 Leila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An anthology of the greatest Western minds on education and pedagogy. The crunchy con's answer to what ails modern education?
Cynthia Kay
Cynthia Kay rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2015
Reader2007
Mar 12, 2012 Reader2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-textbooks
A most excellent compilation of essays on the subject of education.
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