The Liturgical Classroom, Virtue and Renewal of Education

Can the liturgical tradition of the church, and associated practices help revitalize teaching?  That was the contention of James K. A. Smith’s book Desiring The Kingdom and also the book he co-edited entitled Teaching and Christian Practices.  Educator Jenny Rallens (The Ambrose School, Boise ID) has spent the past three years working to employ the insights of these books in her teaching of 5th and 8th graders, and has indeed revitalized her classrooms.  One way I know this, is by means of the five minute clip (in the video below) of her 5th graders discussing Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring.  Another way I know this is by watching her teach other teachers, and by numerous conversations that confirm that she is wise beyond her years.  Jenny was classically educated throughout her life, from grammar school to high school to college.  Now she is pursuing a master’s at Oxford University where she is studying the classical concept of memory in education.  If you are a teacher, you will be richly repaid for watching and contemplating the presentation below.  This presentation was given at the recent Alcuin Retreat for educators sponsored by the Society for Classical Learning.