On this episode, Chris is joined by Dr. Kevin Baxter, former superintendent of Catholic schools for the largest U.S. archdiocese, Chief Innovation Officer for the National Catholic Education Association, and current director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. They discuss Dr. Baxter’s recent book, Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools, published by the NCEA. As Dr. Baxter describes it, a “microschool” isn’t defined so much by total enrollment, but is rather an attitudinal posture that isn’t afraid to depart from historical paradigms. For example, he describes how multi-age instruction (multiple ages of kids in one classroom) couldn’t be further from a “desperate” measure, but rather is a model with many, many benefits for children, and which is being used in some premier, high-tuition schools. Looking to the future, he sees leadership and innovation as the two pillars on which Catholic schools can newly thrive (again, not defined in enrollment data) in the years ahead.
Chris welcomes back Dr. Chris Burgwald. First, they discuss Pope Francis's recent invitation to the bishops of the world to join him in consecrating Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They then discuss a book they're reading together, After Virtue, by philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. They specifically dive into the themes of Chapter 12, titled "Aritsotle's Account of the Virtues," using a reading guide authored by Christopher Lutz. They discuss the connections between virtue, law, and community; the virtue of prudence; and Aristotle's view of "friendship" as a foundational virtue for a polis or civil community, prior even to the virtue of justice!