Truth, Goodness and Beauty: Revisiting the Classic Common Core Standards
AbstractAs the educational community works to simultaneously understand and implement the Common Core standards and its emphasis on the development of various intellectual traits and capacities, it is worth pausing to consider this most recent educational reform in light of the classical understanding of the educational task. This article highlights three elements from the “classic” common core educational standards as understood by classical educational theorists: truth, goodness, and beauty and the role each plays in developing an educated person. These classic standards place the development and elevation of the human spirit as the foundation of all learning. Although truth, goodness, and beauty each have a unique contribution in the education of individuals, this article focuses on beauty and the way it stimulates a desire for both goodness and truth. Additionally, these standards require a different form of pedagogy; developing a commitment to truth and goodness and experiencing beauty do not come to a person with traditional forms of education. The ground for this investigation is found in the works of an ancient philosopher, Plato; a classical educational theorist, John Steward Mill; and a passage from the Christian scriptures, Psalms 27. The article culminates with suggestions, a primer for ways to bring beauty to students both in the physical environment of the classroom and in the person of the teacher.