, Corbin, KY

February 15, 2013

‘Classical education’ to be discussed at St. Camillus

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble

Staff writer

A noted teacher, writer and advocate of “classical education” will come to Corbin next week, to speak at St. Camillus Academy.

Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky, and Upper School Curriculum Director at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, will speak at St. Camillus on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. Cothran will be there to discuss the classical education concept, as well as present options and answer questions from the audience.

The program is free, and open to the public.

Kim Devers, a parent who has children who attend St. Camillus, noted several other parents are looking forward to what Cothran will have to say.

“I was re-introduced to the concept of classical education while I was researching options for my children’s education. I have a friend of mine who has children at the Lexington Latin School who referred me to Martin Cothran, and I spoke to him on the phone a few weeks ago. I’m quite impressed with his views on education and very impressed with his enthusiasm, and he offered to come to Corbin and speak about possible options for our children with us,” Devers said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Cothran continues to serve the Family Foundation of Kentucky on a consulting basis, and helped to start the organization in 1989. He makes the final policy decisions and manages the organization’s strategy.

Based in Lexington, the foundation is a non-profit educational organization which focuses on public policy issues that affect families in the state. Their website said the organization “promotes values and policies that strengthen Kentucky families,” which includes legislation of interest and publishing articles on cultural habits and political trends.

Cothran is also Upper School Curriculum Director at Highlands Latin School in Louisville where he teaches Latin and Logic, and publishes educational curricula. He also lectures and maintains blogs, including “Vital Remnants,” which the Family Foundation says is a popular political blog in the state.

Over the years, Cothran has written articles on public policy that have appeared in newspapers around Kentucky, has been a frequent guest on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” program, and has served on several state commissions dealing with state education policy.

According to an article from the Catholic News Agency, “Classical education is meant to help students learn how to think, giving them ‘the tools of lifelong learning,’ rather than merely teaching them ‘subjects.’ The foundation of classical education is a set of three methods of learning subjects, called the trivium, which consists of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.”

At Highlands Latin, the academic curriculum includes Latin, Christian Studies, Classical Studies, Logic and Rhetoric, English and Literature, Mathematics, Greek, American Modern Studies, Science and Character. Their website states Highlands Latin is both a Classical School where students learn classical languages and Greek/Roman classics, and a Traditional School, where traditional classroom methods are applied. Founded in 2000, the K-12 private, classical and Christian school has an enrollment of 556, with the average class size being 14 students.

Cothran’s appearance at St. Camillus comes almost six weeks after officials at the school were told by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington that the school would close at the end of the school year in May. The historic school, located at the end of Roy Kidd Avenue in Corbin, began operation in 1908.