I am so glad you’re joining me for this first post to the 21st Century Lyceum blog!

The idea behind this blog site is to give parents, teachers, and anyone else who raises young people some insights into the teaching / learning process that might be a little innovative. Ironically, many of the ideas we will discuss first are over 2000 years old! Don’t let that bother you, though, because we’re going to integrate those ideas with some that have only just been introduced in the last few decades.

My goal is that this blog site will eventually become an interactive hub for the discussion of how to integrate these ideas into what we are already doing by folks who hang out with kids in public schools, private schools, homeschools, etc. – basically anywhere there are students and the adults who lead them.

I’m John Devos and I will do my best to guide us all through this journey into the best thinking about how to help our kids learn. Please participate by using the comments section below. (Of course, standard guidelines for online decorum apply – please don’t put me in the unenviable position of having to decide if your comments get to stay or have to go.)

Also, if you find the information here helpful, please make sure you use social media, email, etc. to let everyone know we are here, having the Great Conversation about thinking and learning.

This first post is mainly introductory and lays the groundwork for our future sessions. I also dive right into the first little taste of the content we will uncover by introducing the logical fallacies of ad hominem, non sequitur, and post hoc arguments. Don’t let all that Latin run you off – by the end of this first 22-minute video, you’ll be a pro at identifying all three and countering their effects in your daily interactions with others.


Summary of video

  • Some information about John
  • What are John’s plans for this blog? or, What’s in it for you?
  • The liberal arts – the trivium and the quadrivium
  • Grammar (not what you think it is…), logic, and rhetoric
  • What has happened over the past century to the liberal arts in American schooling?
  • Some background on Aristotle and his Lyceum
  • Ad hominem, non sequitur, and post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments
  • What to do next…


Resources specific to this post

General resources that I enjoy (and hope you will, too)

  • A great introductory article about classical schooling
  • Khan Academy, Sal Khan’s online collection of courses for K-12 students. ( I’m currently working through AP Statistics, AP US History, and Geometry! ANYONE can take any of Sal’s courses for FREE.) My secret wish is that parents (mainly homeschooling families) can eventually use my 21CL blog and Sal’s Academy in conjunction to mold their kids into well- educated, thoughtful young people. Shh. Don’t tell anyone… 😉
  • Art of Manliness blog. If you visit Brett’s site, you’ll see that it’s a definite source of inspiration for this one.
  • Good Eats website. Alton Brown is another major influence. With any luck (and much study and improvement in my digital skills), this site will eventually smack slightly of this hit food show.
  • About Learning (4MAT) website. Bernice McCarthy has synthesized so many current ideas in teaching and learning that you MUST check out her 4MAT system.
    • 4MAT Guide – excellent intro to fundamentals and research
  • School in the Cloud, Sugata Mitra’s idea that won the 2013 TED Prize. Check out his TED talks here.
  • Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens. And use Google Maps to see the sat pic of the archeological site. So cool that it’s on the same city block of the very modern buildings for the Greek National Conservatory, Children’s Museum, and Armed Forces Museum.