Sound Thinking

12 Jan

Study Compares Home- and School-educated Children

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 01/12/05

On Volume 54 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, Mitchell L. Stevens discussed his book about home-schooling and motivations to home-school. Now a study published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research compares the intellectual development of children who have been home-educated with that of those who have been school-educated. The first portion of "Home-education: Comparison of Home- and School-educated Children on PIPS Baseline Assessments" identifies the tests and studies conducted to measure the developmental differences between the two groups of children; it records how those tested were chosen, how the tests were administered, and the results of the tests. The latter portion of the article analyzes the results of the tests, speculating about why children scored as they did, and recommends a closer study of what makes home-education successful so that schools may benefit by it.

Home-educated children, it reports, "demonstrated high levels of ability and good social skills"; they tested higher in many of the tests than did school-educated children. Speculating about why this would be the case, the article describes home-education and how it differs from school-education: "Home-education is best described as an individually tailored education (ITE) whereby the children work from a home base but often spend a large amount of their time away from the home itself, instead attending group get-togethers and activities, visiting parks, museums, friends' houses, libraries and 'after school' groups. In general this is an education gained through 'living and doing' . . . ." The article advocates individually tailored education and the elements of which it consists—such as high levels of attention from parents and family members and a pace of learning gauged to each child—to schools that wish to reform their education programs. [Posted January 2005, ALG]

16 Dec

The E. U. and Virtual Harems

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 12/16/04

MARS HILL AUDIO guest Steven Rhoads discusses Turkey's law against adultery in "The Turkish Letter."

On Volume 71 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, professor Steven Rhoads discusses the biological evidence for taking sex differences seriously. His book on the subject demonstrates that Rhoads is well-versed in the detrimental effects, for families and individuals, of not taking sex differences seriously; he encourages policy makers and employers to pay such differences greater heed in public policy and the work place. Rhoads extends similar arguments about taking public prohibitions against adultery seriously in a recent article for The Weekly Standard. In "The Turkish Letter," published on-line for the December 17, 2004, issue of The Daily Standard, Rhoads draws attention to Turkey's pending entrance into the European Union in order to both commend the country for the law which almost kept it out of the Union (a law which would make adultery by either spouse a crime), and to demonstrate the importance of supporting legal deterrents to adultery. Rhoads gives examples of how adultery undermines marriages and families, and of how it colors the lives of those involved in or affected by adultery. He encourages societies to support laws intended to discourage the tempting act. [Posted December 2004, ALG]

9 Dec

"The Witness of Czeslaw Milosz"

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 12/09/04

In his interview with Roger Lundin about poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) on Volume 71 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, Ken Myers mentioned an article about Milosz published in the November 2004 issue of First Things. The full text of the article is now available through First Things's web pages.

In "The Witness of Czeslaw Milosz," author Jeremy Driscoll attends to an oft-overlooked element of Milosz's greatness: his Christian witness. Driscoll notes that Milosz believed the question of religion ought to be explored in the mainstream of literature and culture, and thus that many of his poems are imbued with his struggle with faith. While the poet did struggle with faith, Driscoll writes, he also felt compelled—partly by the witness of the saints who had gone before him—to remain true to his religious inheritance, trusting the Christian tradition throughout history to answer the questions which were troubling him and the age in which he lived. Endeavoring to remain faithful to that tradition, Milosz wrote—to paraphrase the man himself—gentle verses declaring themselves for life in the midst of horror. He recorded and praised the world's passing beauty, states Driscoll, reminding his readers, in his twilight years, that such beauty comes from a permanent source beyond the world. [Posted December 2004, ALG]

18 Oct

Bernard Lewis Sets the Course for Discussions Abroad and Articles at Home

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 10/18/04

The MARS HILL AUDIO interview with Bernard Lewis on Volume 59 of the Journal played a formidable role in the life of an article about the history and shape of Islamist feminism that was published in the October/November issue of Policy Review, a publication of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

"Western visitors to Muslim lands have 'talk[ed] with horror of the subordination and ill-treatment of Muslim women (and, I might add, with ill-concealed envy of what they imagine to be the privileges of Muslim men). Muslim visitors to the Christian world are shocked and horrified by the loose and promiscuous ways of the West and also the absurd deference, as they see it, given to Western women.'"

This statement from historian Bernard Lewis in his MARS HILL AUDIO interview on Volume 59 of the Journal prompted journalist Lauren Weiner to research some of the differences between how Middle Eastern and Muslim countries treat their women and how the West treats its women. She recorded her findings in "Islam and Women: Choosing to veil and other paradoxes," an article published in the October/November 2004 issue of Policy Review, a publication of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In her article Weiner addresses the development of feminism in Muslim societies; radical Islamist reactions to it and to Western feminism; Western feminism's response to acts of terror from radical Islamists; and how Islamic feminism differs from Western feminism. She writes that both groups should focus on bringing about a decent life for women and men, who ought to have their rights respected: "This is, in fact, what the woman questions brings out especially well: the rights of human beings that are manifest not in any penumbra of any constitution but in the full light of day."

3 Oct

"Freedom and Decency"

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 10/03/04

"We are free not because we can choose, but only when we have chosen well." So writes orthodox theologian David B. Hart in an article titled "Freedom and Decency" published in the June/July 2004 issue of First Things. Hart, a guest on Volume 67 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, muses about matters of censorship and definitions of freedom in this edifying and lambent article.