A tardy Bill Jack is better than no Bill Jack at all . . . Right? This podcast begins with your host, Jeff Baldwin, flying solo — always a dangerous proposition, especially when you consider the nerd factor. With no one to get in his way, Jeff cheerfully launches into a prolonged discussion of great books that are overlooked by most secular educators. Finally, Bill arrives on the scene and steers the discussion to “Roadkill Cafe” and a listener e-mail about an overlooked noir movie. Bill has done his homework and watched the movie, so we’re able to recommend it with some qualifications. Special bonus: Jeff makes a crackpot “Where the Tech are We?” prediction at the very end of this episode!
Posts in category Education
If you missed Part One of this podcast, take a moment now to listen to last week’s episode of Radio Worldview. If you already heard Part One, you know what to expect here: host Jeff Baldwin leads fellow faculty members Jay Winslow and Mark Bertrand through a discussion of the best short stories for teaching young writers the craft of writing a story. But before the discussion begins, Jeff tries to open up to Mark, who summarily shuts things down.
Perfect timing! Author and Worldview Academy faculty member Mark Bertrand just released his third crime novel, Nothing to Hide, yesterday — and today we have him on Radio Worldview, discussing the art of the short story. But that’s not all: Jay Winslow, a literature teacher and another Worldview faculty member, joins Jeff and Mark in the conversation. Get out your pencil (or your keypad) — you’re going to want to jot down lots of the titles mentioned in this episode.
What’s the strangest thing Radio Worldview co-host Bill Jack has eaten? Well, it turns out that he’s not eating much of anything lately — when this episode was recorded, he was four days into a week-long juice fast. Host Jeff Baldwin is suitably appalled, but his spirits improve when Bill reads the listener mail. A pastor wants to talk education, and specifically some of the dangers inherent in public education. Is it fair to suggest that the public schools encourage conformity and suppress original thought? Jeff and Bill think so.
In August, Radio Worldview host Jeff Baldwin was asked to deliver the sermon at Christian Family Fellowship in Canon City, Colorado. This sermon concludes the thoughts articulated in our three-part series, What Education is Not. Next week, Bill Jack returns to Radio Worldview, and life returns to “normal.”
Finally! In this episode, Radio Worldview hosts Bill Jack and Jeff Baldwin reach the end of their series about what education is not. (Of course, Bill and Jeff still find time for an episode of “Roadkill Cafe,” but at least they stay on topic for most of the rest of the show.) Their discussion centers around the fourth thing education is not: a danger to the Christian’s faith. Although the modern church often adopts a stance of anti-intellectualism in a mistaken effort to protect Christians from scrutinizing what they believe, thoughtful Christians understand that, in a reality where Christ calls Himself “the Truth,” we have nothing to fear from closely examining our worldview. Thinking hard will not jeopardize your faith — it will galvanize it.
In this second installment of our three-part series, hosts Jeff and Bill talk about two more of the predominant myths about education: (1) Education is a means to an end; and (2) Education is an ivory tower pursuit. Properly understood, education for Christians is an end in itself — part of the lifelong process of sanctification. In addition, because ideas have consequences, a biblical view of education assumes that students are seeking to embrace scriptural ideas to manifest good consequences in history. Such an approach is eminently practical, much more so than flailing around ignorantly and hoping to stumble upon good results.
If you’re looking for a podcast that is all about education, you’re looking in the wrong place. It takes the Radio Worldview team more than 15 minutes to dive into that topic in this episode, as they wind their way from horrible pop songs through Republican presidential hopefuls to refusing to reveal the gender of your child. But once under way, Jeff and Bill find time to talk about the first of four educational myths, namely: Education is salvific. While non-Christians believe that man is basically good and therefore we can educate people to always behave in the right way, Christians have to remind them that sin is real and no man can be redeemed by the classroom, no matter how good the teaching might be.
You would think, with a topic as large as “Defining Western Civilization,” that hosts Bill and Jeff would immediately cut to the chase on this edition of Radio Worldview — but you would be wrong. First, Jeff makes the rookie mistake of asking Bill if he has anything he would like to get off his chest, which leads to a prolonged rant about the TSA and their new body scanners. Next, Jeff takes the time to rave about a novel that he considers to be the greatest American novel since To Kill a Mockingbird. And then — finally — they settle down to business. What is Western Civilization? Is it merely an empty concept? Are its ideals eroding? An intriguing discussion ensues.
Bill and Jeff finally return (again), facing lots of listener mail chastising them for taking so long to create another podcast. They also respond to a great question from an education major at Purdue who wants to know what to read. As our regular listeners know, Jeff is always happy to tell you what to read.
After a brief segment Bill and Jeff like to call, “Where the Tech Are We?”, your hosts launch into a prolonged diatribe about homeschooling. Why, Jeff wants to know, has the most important evangelical grassroots movement of the last few decades gone largely unnoticed by the Church? Why do so many families stereotype homeschoolers to avoid considering the homeschooling option for themselves? Why are so many Christians willing to ignore what is happening in the public schools? Can Christians make their faith relevant again to education, one family at a time?
Worldview Academy faculty member Jay Winslow has taught in the public schools for 30 years, so he enjoys a rare vantage point for assessing the state of modern public education. After Jeff Baldwin and Mark Bertrand make sarcastic remarks about how efficiently the state manages education, Jay begins a discussion of the unintended consequences that followed from requiring schools to meet specific testing criteria. For most public schools, “teaching to the test” has become a way of life, forcing teachers to abandon a broader educational agenda. Jay wryly notes how the ability to think critically has been left in the dust.
Usually, when Worldview Academy faculty member Mark Bertrand appears on Radio Worldview, we get rave reviews. Recently, however, a listener wrote in to say that Mark’s latest appearance–the show entitled “Homeschooling in California”–was problematic. After the listener details his criticism of the show, host Jeff Baldwin provides a knee-jerk reaction. Then he and Bill try to get to the bottom of the matter. The show ends with Jeff still disgruntled, taking some small solace in one line from the e-mail: “death to cell phones.”
This topic has been hot ever since an appellate court in California ruled in late February that homeschoolers must be taught by a state-credentialed teacher, leaving around 160,000 homeschooled students apparently truant. Host Jeff Baldwin is naturally indignant, and he and co-host Mark Bertand discuss the ins and outs of the case. You’ll be especially interested to hear the results of a recent study conducted by Dr. Brian Ray about the level of achievement by homeschoolers on standardized tests. And, oh yes, Mark espouses the virtues of Skype.
And we do mean “old.” For some reason, Jeff thought that he could postpone responding to listener mail until he was once again podcasting with his co-host, Bill Jack. A month’s reflection revealed the absurdity of this idea, and so Mark Bertrand and Jay Winslow join him to belatedly answer some excellent listener questions. The bulk of the discussion centers around some good questions about anti-intellectualism, although Jeff finds time to pan a very old, generally beloved movie.
Finally, Jeff finishes talking about classical education. He explains the purpose behind Worldview Academy’s premiere educational website, TheGreatBooks.com, and encourages Christians to take education seriously.
Jeff announces the trivia contest winner, and then he and Bill read some fan mail. Bill asks Jeff more about classical education, with Jeff revisiting his teaching days at Providence Classical School. How can that excellent education be extended to people who don’t live near Providence? This podcast also features the debut of a new “song,” That’s Crazy Talk.
What is classical education? Why might this model be the best fit with the Christian worldview? Jeff Baldwin begins to make the case for classical education, while Bill Jack tries to incite him to rant and rave. Look for the second half of this discussion later this month.
This week, Bill Jack takes a hiatus from the show, while Jeff Baldwin interviews Worldview faculty member Jay Winslow. Jay talks about how he teaches students to think in the public schools, and about the relationship between worldviews and literature. Book and movie recommendations fly fast and furiously.
Worldview Academy research director Jeff Baldwin interviews former WVA student and staffer Jeremy Mollenkopf. Jeremy, now married and teaching math in the public schools, discusses whether or not he would send his own son to the public school, as well as issues involving homeschooling and classical education.