Fishburne Military School is taking a step back into the classics in the face of the push in contemporary education on test scores.
New classes in art and philosophy have been added to the curriculum in the 2014-2015 academic year to round out the Waynesboro private school’s “whole-man education” approach to college prep. The goal, according to Chris Richmond, the head of communications at Fishburne, is to “help us us to ensure that young men at FMS are getting a better education than ever before.”
The new philosophy class, taught by Roxanne Rodes, is a high-school-level introduction to political philosophy as seen through some of the most significant thinkers of the western tradition.
“The evolution of political thought and institutions are examined from the earliest origins of western civilization to the early 20th century,” said Rodes, listing four broad themes that are focused upon in order to develop an understanding of political life: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville).
Heady stuff for high school, particularly in the Standards of Learning and No Child Left Behind era, where the goal for educators seems to be in making sure that students learn how to take tests at the expense of developing critical thinking skills.
Art is a critical element to the development of those skills, and the new art class at FMS, taught by Martin Goodnough, will focus on teaching basic foundational drawing techniques with a focus on composition, line, shade and light.
“We will focus on still-lifes, and talk about how the masters, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian, all shared and differed in their drawing techniques,” Goodnough said. “The goal for the class is to promote critical thinking and analysis while also exploring the student’s own voice and imagination.”
More information on Fishburne Military School is online at Fishburne.org.
– Column by Chris Graham