The Philosophy of The Oratory

Some quotations from recommended writings that inspire the educational philosophy of The Oratory

Books that Build Character by William Kilpatrick and Gregory and Suzanne M. Wolfe

“How does a child fall in love with virtue? By being exposed to the right kind of stories, music and art, said Plato. Such education helps a child develop the right sort of likes and dislikes, and without those dispositions it won’t matter how much formal training in ethics a youngster later receives.... This is why books are so important for moral education. They inspire a love of goodness.”

“And imagination is one of the keys to virtue. It is not enough to know what’s right. It’s also necessary to desire to do right. Desire, in turn, is directed to a large extent by imagination.”

“It is often remarked that good literature does not moralize, but that is not to say that it does not teach us.”

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

“... Charlotte Mason ensured that the child was read to. Not isolated little stories but really good books, chapter by chapter. Those fortunate pupils had stories about all sorts of things—biographies of historical figures, works of literature, stories about far away places, fables, stories about animals and birds.”

“All this reading isn’t crammed in. After just one story, the little child tells back what he has heard, in his own words. Charlotte Mason called this ‘narration.’ It is wonderful that the mind that has heard can now express the interest and knowledge in the child’s own words.”

Students enjoy a hands-on lesson in masonry

Students enjoy a hands-on lesson in masonry

Because at The Oratory we recognize that boys thrive in an educational setting which embraces their own unique gifts...

Let Boys Become Men: The Need for All Male Education, article by Anthony Esolen

“If you wanted to come up with teaching methods, school policies, and a curriculum perversely designed to bore the ordinary boy half to death, to frustrate him, to fail to engage his natural propensities, to give him no hope, to cut his heart right out, then you could hardly improve on what we have right now.”

“Boys are natural statisticians and devisers of compendia, and if you ever met a memorizing monster, it is sure to be male....”

“Think of the hierarchies that make up Thomas’s Summa Theologiae, and consider how vast, subtle, comprehensive and architectonically organized such a thing is; how masculine in its features, in its almost complete dispensing with emotion, its surgical acuity, its drawing of clean distinctions, and its never fleeing from where logic leads. Then give students the reverse of that. Give them a ‘unit’ here and a ‘unit’ there, politically chosen, and stress what the young people are supposed to feel about Nefertiti or the Navajos.”

Other recommended books: