Someone with whom I sometimes correpsond regarding CCE (Brad Poteat) in Indianapolis has written a thoughtful blog recently on the subject of community in a CCE setting. I would commend its reading to you: http://thearc.wordpress.com/2006/09/20/christian-paideia-forms-one-community/
What I would like to suggest be a strand of conversation coming out of it is the correct means of furthering the conversation of this type of community. Understanding our “status” in the community (a sinner saved by the Grace of God like everyone else) will certainly grease the wheels of our community, but what is the wagon? How are we have our “talks” as a community? The large problem facing me in the administration of a school community is that of venue. Certainly the classroom is a major and frequent venue of our conversation. But many of the parties noted in Brad’s blog are missing from that venue most of the time. How often are Board members in the classroom? How often even administrator’s given their busy schedule of meeting with other folks? How about parents? Certainly they discuss the day with their child at home, but that is certainly not the same as being “there.”
So, first, how are we to aid and abet the principle of everyone being “in” the classroom? And, secondly, are there other venues besides the classroom? The notion of sitting about in a leisurely setting and discussing the community, say on a porch or around the stove in the general store are notions of the past. I am certainly in favor of recovering those venues, but what do they look like today and can they be regained, and if so, how?
Here is the desperation in my voice: if we don’t talk long and hard about how to overcome the issues packaged in our modern views of education, we will not overcome them. We will in fact use that baggage to judge the endeavors and success of the very classical Christian schools we are founding, building, running, etc. And in doing so, we will either cause them to fall or cause them to give in to our own modern desires and thus become modern schools with the same baggage we were trying to get away from. We have to talk, we have to affirm what is good and right and true together before we can hope to pursue it together. What are other folks doing to build such a venue? Hope for me is found in conversation, and it is tough to find the “time” for it.