Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
224 pages
Apr 2006
Crossway Books

Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning

by Robert Littlejohn & Charles T. Evans

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Wisdom. Eloquence. Those are words that we don't associate with American education. However, Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans maintain in their new book, Wisdom and Eloquence, that these are the essential characteristics that today's graduates require. "Our graduates need wisdom to navigate the murky waters of the current cultural, political, and economic milieu as well as those of an uncertain future...But an education for wisdom is only half the formula. Without the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively, wisdom's benefit is singular to its possessor." (13)

Littlejohn and Evans give Christians the knowledge needed to set up Christian schools that will develop wisdom and eloquence by discussing the how-to's and why's of classical education. They teach a brief history and worldview of this approach, and describe the importance of establishing the right ethos, environment, and relationships for learning. They provide a thoughtful section on curriculum development which some homeschoolers will find useful too, as well as some hints on teaching and materials to use. The authors also stress the importance of choosing teachers who can teach a classical education or who are willing to learn.

Their approach to some aspects of education differs from typical teacher training. For instance, they suggest that during curriculum design, you start with your end product goals and work backward to the student's current status, so they typically refer to 12-K curriculum design.

In their appendices, they direct a message to parents, discuss the development of a Christian liberal arts curriculum, and how to develop shared goals in the Christian school community. For readers wanting further information, they provide a helpful bibliography.

Both Littlejohn and Evans have been associated with liberal arts schools. Littlejohn has worked for 25 years in education at all levels in a variety of positions. As well as being a Head of School, Evans represents schools before the Texas State Legislature. Their practical experience and philosophy provide assistance and provoke thought.

Though they include information for parents, the authors direct the book toward professional educators. Many parents will find the learned style of the writing difficult, though others will find their ideas helpful in homeschooling or in choosing a Christian school. Because of its good sense and ability to stimulate thinking, the book is interesting to those interested in classical education, but it would help if the reader already has some background in the subject before picking this book up. This is not an introduction to classical education. Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

To succeed in the world today, students need an education that equips them to recognize current trends, to be creative and flexible to respond to changing circumstances, to demonstrate sound judgment to work for society's good, and to gain the ability to communicate persuasively. This book argues for returning to the classical liberal arts educational system so that students are prepared for lifelong learning.