Category Archives: Logos Online School

Relativity and Poetic Knowledge

by Daniel Ryan, Physics teacher for Logos Online School

This year I decided teach something about Einstein’s theory of Relativity to my Physics class but didn’t know a thing about it. I had avoided Relativity because it sounded a bit like Relativism, the denial of absolute truth, and I wanted none of that in my science. When, however, I began to study its basic concepts, I found that Relativity fit nicely into my Christian beliefs about the limits of man’s knowledge and the importance of metaphor in epistemology.

One of the starting assumptions of Relativity is that all motion is relative. If I say a horse is moving, I probably mean that the horse is moving across the ground. If that horse were trotting on a large treadmill, he would still be moving in reference to the revolving belt, but not moving from the perspective of any observers. Motion is only meaningful if you have a frame of reference which puts the moving thing into a relationship with something else.

Press this a little further, though, and relative motion becomes a problem. 

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By derivative work: Pbroks13 (talk) Elevator_gravity2.png: Markus Poessel (Mapos) (Elevator_gravity2.png) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you wanted to describe the motion of the moon, you’d say it is moving around the earth. Very good. The earth is your reference point. But the earth, too, is moving, dragging the moon with it. From the perspective of the sun, the moon is making a loopy flower-like motion, which complicates moon’s motion considerably. Which frame of reference is the real one?

It gets worse. The sun, it turns out, is moving too, and this leaves the curious mind asking where it is all really moving. What is the true backdrop against which we can measure motion and be done with it? Continue reading

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Light of the Nations

by Amanda Ryan, Rhetoric teacher for Logos Online School

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 of The Classical Difference magazine, a publication of the ACCS.

Why classical?

EducereClassical Christian schools are popping up in various countries around the globe — Australia, Nigeria, and the Bahamas, to name a few. While the classical method is beginning to spread abroad, it has found good soil in Asia and is particularly taking root in Indonesia.

According to Maryani Budiman, the head of school at Cahaya Bangsa Classical School in Padalarang, Indonesia, the classical method challenges students to question and think critically, skills that are not emphasized within Indonesia’s current system of education. She says that Indonesia’s educational methods, in both public and private schools, are uniform at every level. “They do not really educate the students because the education stays the same.” The system of education in Asia is known for stressing rote learning and rigorous testing. Classroom culture is typified by the idea of the teacher pouring out knowledge and the student simply receiving it. “From elementary up to high school,” Maryani states, “we just stay in grammar school, in the grammar style of learning.” As Dorothy Sayers might describe it, these schools are stuck in the poll parroting stage of education. Continue reading

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Under Pressure

by Will Boyd

wbDid you know that your shoulders support 14.7 lbs per square inch of the earth’s atmosphere? That’s right! You are carrying a burden even when your backpack is in the closet. It rises from your shoulders and extends to the edge of the atmosphere 80 km above sea level.

This semester a team of intrepid budding scientists and I have been delving into the physical science of the magnificent sphere the good Lord has given us to care for and call home. We have been measuring our desks in cubits, peeling back the layers of science involved in the climate change debate, and most recently building our own aneroid and water barometers.

Barometers measure air pressure. Rather than air pressure only weighing us down through the force of gravity, air pressure pushes on you and me and all things on the earth in all directions equally. Thanks to this phenomenon it is fairly easy to build an aneroid thermometer. The air trapped under the latex balloon in the homemade barometer above will expand and contract proportionally to the air pressure in the room. The balloon expands and the pressure gauge (drinking straw with quilting pin glued to the end) drops. The balloon contracts and the pressure gauge goes up. So far this week the air pressure here has fluctuated by about 6 mm according to my aneroid barometer.

The water barometer functions under the same principle but uses water displacement to show changes in air pressure.

I love the barometer project because it gets students thinking about the tools of science and puts them in the driver’s seat where they collect real data without a pre-determined outcome. I wonder if we can measure air pressure in cubits?

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Plato’s Cave and Our Modern Education System

by Scott Postma

spI’m a product of the American public education system. Probably, you are too. Although my education was adequate to prepare me for an entry-level job in the modern world, it didn’t take long to realize I had missed something significant. At the time I couldn’t put it into words, but I realized my education had failed to prepare me for the more complex nuances of life because it had failed to educate my soul. It was years later when I was studying classics in seminary that I finally gained a category of thought for this experience and had a place in my mind in which I could contemplate this nebulous reality.

For me, what opened the door to this new ability to think about the purpose and method of education was Plato’s allegory of the cave. The allegory is a story in The Republic (written 350-400 years before Christ), and is fundamentally an analysis of human education—or more accurately, its imitation of a true education. Plato, through his protagonist, Socrates, is trying to determine what justice in the city looks like and whether or not what he discovers is actually a virtuous idea. Throughout The Republic, Socrates discourses with various interlocutors to work these matters out, and eventually concludes that justice in the city—and by proxy, in the human soul—is possible, but not probable. He explains the reason for this: there is a fundamental injustice in the nature of the human condition that cannot be resolved. His solution is a radical one that calls for a revolution to reeducate the youth by expelling everyone ten years old and up from the city.

In the allegory, Socrates describes human beings as though they were in an underground cave-like dwelling. Having had their legs and necks in bonds since childhood, these cave-dwellers have been forced to face a wall in which shadows of various artifacts are regularly cast from “a fire burning far above and behind them” (think of shadow puppets). The prisoners name the things they see as they go by and give one another honors for being the quickest to name them. Additionally, they hear echoes of the voices of the puppeteers who are behind a wall and suppose them to be the voices of the shadows they think are realities. This bizarre way of life is normal to those who know nothing different. Continue reading

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The Headmaster’s Huddle

Here at the start of the 2013-14 academic year, Dr. Larry Stephenson reminds us why we do what we do.

As we begin another academic year, I simply want to take a moment to remind myself (and all of you) why, specifically, we do what we do – the goal of all our labors. The demands of any given day… the many decisions which must be made, the conversations which must be had, the crisis which must be managed… threaten to obscure our vision. Amid the pressing demands of the day, we sometimes forget the mandate that all of us, as administrators, have been given.

God has called us to the task of educational leadership – specifically to future generations.  The leadership we must provide is not understood by the world, but has been modeled for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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Online Seminars: Group Discounts

Churches, schools, homeschool co-ops, or just a group of friends can now take advantage of special pricing.

This is an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers in Christian and classical education – 32 weeks of live instruction, one hour a week.

Groups:

  • 5 – 9 participants………….10% discount per participant ($315 ea.)
  • 10 – 19 participants………..20% discount per participant ($280 ea.)
  • 20 – 29 participants………..30% discount per participant ($245 ea.)
  • 30 – 49 participants………..40% discount per participant ($210 ea.)
  • 50 or more participants…..50% discount per participant ($175 ea.)

Groups will register under one name and receive one access number for the class. 

So grab a few friends (or 100 friends) and enjoy one of these live online seminars together.

If your school has contracted with Logos Press as its Sole Source curriculum provider, you automatically qualify for additional discounts on seminar materials. For more information on Sole Source, contact us at 208-892-8074.

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A Message for Classical Christian Educators

From Dr. Larry Stephenson

Greetings,

I pray all is going well as you prepare for next school year; scheduling, hiring personnel, and ordering materials. As an administrator for over 25 years and the head of three small ACCS schools currently, I know the challenges of trying to put together a great staff and great courses for our students. I’m also privileged to be heading up Logos Press, the curriculum division of Canon Press. One of our primary goals is to help support classical, Christian schools all over the world by coordinating resources and connecting like-minded educators. We are thrilled to announce four new ways of doing just that.

1. DAILY ONLINE CLASSES
Logos Press is in the unique position of having access to many outstanding, experienced teachers. Thanks to today’s technology, we can help you provide your students with outstanding instruction in courses that wouldn’t be available otherwise. These live class sessions will meet every day of the school week for 45-50 minutes.

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  • Customized schedules: These classes are well-suited for ACCS students and schools. We will do what we can to customize classes in a way that best fits your students, and we can connect schools across the country in an online community dedicated to supporting classical Christ-centered education in a local school setting.
  • More opportunities for your teachers: Do you have part-time teachers that need a full schedule to meet their financial needs? Online teaching opportunities can give your faculty that flexibility. We’ll provide the training and the online classroom—all they need is a computer with a webcam.

2. LIVE WEEKLY SEMINARS for STUDENTS, PARENTS, and TEACHERS 
We also offer one-hour-per-week, year-long live seminars for teachers, board members, and upper-level students—taught by some of the brightest minds in the classical education movement: Continue reading

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