The Good, The True & The Beautiful: Finale - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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The Good, The True & The Beautiful: Finale

Good morning and happy last week before Thanksgiving Break! Today we have our final post on “The Good, The True, and The Beautiful”. Our post today has all of the videos here in one place for your viewing pleasure. These videos can also be found in our Parent Portal for future reference. Thank you for your patience while we have been ironing out the kinks in our Youtube and other media channels. We hope that you find this series useful to your discussions on classical education and please feel free to share any comments or insights below!


The first video introduces our series on “The Good, The True, and The Beautiful”: important, foundational concepts from classical tradition still sought after in liberal arts education. Hosted by history teacher Sarah Shotwell, it explores the philosophy behind each of these values, the reasons we believe in them, and their applications in the modern world.

“ Good, True, and Beautiful thoughts, things, ideas, words, art, environments, and actions contribute to our deep contentment and happiness: what the Greeks called ‘Eudamonia,’ the wellbeing of our souls.”

 

…Practicing the Good: Temperance

Next up, we explored The Good. What does it mean to live a good life? That’s a question wise people have been asking for generations! The classical tradition encourages us to pursue “The Good.” But what does that mean, and how do we do it? In Episode 1, Sarah Shotwell explains the philosophy behind “The Good” and describes how we can seek it in our modern lives.

“Aristotle taught we could seek the Good – and thus, happiness – by practicing virtues. For the ancient Greeks, the four virtues valued most were: Courage, or Fortitude; Prudence, or Wisdom (the ability to draw on the knowledge of the past to discern right actions, think ahead, and make properly reasoned choices); Self-discipline, or Temperance; and Justice (balance and rightness of thought and action for the good of those around you).”

 

…Practicing the True

These days, everyone has a different take on what’s true. But is truth relative or universal? Subjective or objective? How do we access truth when there is so much conflicting information in the world. In Episode 2, Sarah Shotwell explores some classical philosophy behind “The True,” offers suggestions on how to seek it, and explains how classical education can play an important role.

“When pursuing truth, wise minds trained in classical reasoning pause to ask questions like, On what evidence is that claim based? What are the facts? What can we know? What is impossible for us to know? How does this fit within the whole picture? Is this an assumption? What sources were cited? What authority does this person have? What authority do I have? What are the counter-arguments? Am I jumping to conclusions, or have I really thought this through?”

 

…Practicing Beauty

What is beauty, and how do we find it? In this final episode of our series, we walk through the history, philosophy, definitions, and rich tradition behind the concept of Beauty, and explains why the search for it matters in the modern world (and in education!)

“We are pursuing beauty here. With what we assign, the spaces we curate, and the books we read, we are not merely choosing what we like, what is trendy, or “cool.” We’re chasing beauty — the things that move us and have moved generations of humans before us. This is why we read Homer and Gilgamesh and Emily Dickinson and Ancient Chinese poetry and Martin Luther King. It’s why we take our students camping in the woods and study natural sciences. It’s why we appreciate and make art. In our students, we want to cultivate a love of beauty. Ultimately, these moving experiences will come to shape their own tastes and loves over time.”

 

To view the showcase with all of the videos in one place: The Good, The True and The Beautiful.

To view our Down Home blog series with all of the videos and practical ways to apply each concept, please see:

Download a PDF with key takeaways and talking points!


We would love to know your ideas on how to practice each of these foundational concepts! Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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