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Dr. Korcok examines how the Evangelical understanding of Baptism, vocation, and catechesis has shaped Lutheran education throughout its history. He describes the historical Lutheran model of education and how that model might be used today. This book will be of interest to classical educators and those studying C. F. W. Walther, who features prominently in the research (20 Dr. Korcok examines how the Evangelical understanding of Baptism, vocation, and catechesis has shaped Lutheran education throughout its history. He describes the historical Lutheran model of education and how that model might be used today. This book will be of interest to classical educators and those studying C. F. W. Walther, who features prominently in the research (2011 is the 200th anniversary of Walther's birth).


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Dr. Korcok examines how the Evangelical understanding of Baptism, vocation, and catechesis has shaped Lutheran education throughout its history. He describes the historical Lutheran model of education and how that model might be used today. This book will be of interest to classical educators and those studying C. F. W. Walther, who features prominently in the research (20 Dr. Korcok examines how the Evangelical understanding of Baptism, vocation, and catechesis has shaped Lutheran education throughout its history. He describes the historical Lutheran model of education and how that model might be used today. This book will be of interest to classical educators and those studying C. F. W. Walther, who features prominently in the research (2011 is the 200th anniversary of Walther's birth).

43 review for Lutheran Education: From Wittenberg to the Future

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anna Mussmann

    The neo-classical education movement is a big deal, and its identity has been strongly influenced by folks like Douglas Wilson who first embraced it. Yet classically-minded educators who want to look deeper than Dorothy Sayers’ influential essay are still working on the dual questions of what a historic, liberal arts education really is, and how it should look today. Korcok provides a helpful examination of the history of liberal arts education within Lutheranism. It’s a legacy that has been lar The neo-classical education movement is a big deal, and its identity has been strongly influenced by folks like Douglas Wilson who first embraced it. Yet classically-minded educators who want to look deeper than Dorothy Sayers’ influential essay are still working on the dual questions of what a historic, liberal arts education really is, and how it should look today. Korcok provides a helpful examination of the history of liberal arts education within Lutheranism. It’s a legacy that has been largely forgotten by modern Lutheran schools and teacher-training programs. When the author’s pastoral work involved him in efforts to start a Lutheran school, he looked for Lutheran resources on the way theology ought to shape pedagogy. He found surprisingly few. He turned to history instead--this book is the fruit of his research for his Masters and PhD. In the first section he looks at the way sixteenth-century Lutheran reformers embraced and adapted a liberal arts curriculum for their schools. The second section examines the nineteenth-century German Lutheran emigrants (most notably C.F.W. Walther), who, in a conscious effort to return to their theological roots, built Lutheran schools in America focused on catechesis and the liberal arts. Lastly--and more briefly--he discusses the guidance this history can provide to educators today. I was struck by Korcok’s oft-repeated point that theology and pedagogy are intrinsically linked. In the late medieval period, scholastic pedagogy created scholars to whom scholasticism made sense. When pedagogy changed, scholasticism didn’t make sense any more to the new generations. The pattern holds true in other situations: Early Lutherans wanted pedagogy that would enable students to grasp Lutheran theology. Nineteenth-century Rationalists wanted pedagogy that would prepare students to be rationalists. Modern Progressive pedagogy, pervasive as it is today even in curriculum used by many homeschoolers and Lutheran schools, is no friend to our theology. Likewise, Lutherans should probably exercise caution in adopting the exact vision of classical education that has been shaped by Reformed Christians. For Luther and his fellow reformers, pedagogy must be shaped by three things: Baptism, vocation, and catechesis. Baptism shows us that all individuals are equal before God (we all receive the same baptism) and therefore all should receive the liberal arts education that helps us to understand, study, and share God’s Word with others. Vocation is concerned with serving our community. Korcok says, “Luther’s view of vocation left little room for occupationalism.” Because a liberal arts education helps us to serve our community more fully, above and beyond any occupation we might fill, we should all have one. This is a argument for the liberal arts that I haven’t heard expressed so simply before. In contrast, many modern attempts to justify classical ed are more pragmatic and focused on the individual (i.e., “Latin will help your SAT scores!”). Catechesis--i.e., instruction in the Christian faith and the nurturing of Christian piety--is the heart of all Lutheran education. It was interesting to learn that Luther saw the Catechism as primarily devotional, whereas nineteenth-century Lutherans treated it in a more dogmatic and intellectual manner. It was fascinating to see how certain the Lutheran reformers were that the liberal arts are intrinsically tied to the preservation of pure theology. In their eyes, the resurgence of Biblical languages that led to the Reformation was a divine gift, and it behooved Christians to embrace those languages--starting with Latin. In addition, they saw training in logic as crucial to the preparation of theologians, and rhetoric as essential to eloquently speaking the Gospel. When some Christians (the “Enthusiasts”) rejected the liberal arts and insisted Christians ought only to study the Bible, Luther was appalled. At the same time, early Lutherans rejected the idea that the liberal arts alone could create Christians or bring sinful human beings to “the good.” The section on C.F.W. Walther and his fellow emigrants is quite something. They left their homeland in order to build their own schools. In their eyes, the public educational systems of Germany and America were built on systems of thought hostile to confessional Lutheranism. Even though those schools would likely appear quite attractive to many modern conservatives--patriotic, moral, practical, etc.-- Walther and his colleagues saw them as deeply unchristian. One colleague even said, “The friend of the Kindergarten and the enemy of Christ and his Word is the same thing.” Modern Lutherans have a terrible tendency to believe that a bit of catechesis can be slapped on top of any education, and the nineteenth-century Lutherans who came to Missouri are a challenge to our complacency. Korcok’s book is a much-needed resource. It is most applicable to Lutherans interested in classical education, but I think non-Lutherans might also find the history useful as they ponder the relationship between theology and pedagogy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Dr. Korcok’s research has produced a book that is valuable for every Lutheran educator, as well as educational historians. He wisely focuses on two key eras in Lutheran education—the sixteenth century German schools of the nascent Lutheran church and the nineteenth century schools of the Saxon immigrants who would be the forefathers of the LC-MS in America. Some of the most interesting and convincing arguments have to do with the importance of education as these church leaders (Luther and his co Dr. Korcok’s research has produced a book that is valuable for every Lutheran educator, as well as educational historians. He wisely focuses on two key eras in Lutheran education—the sixteenth century German schools of the nascent Lutheran church and the nineteenth century schools of the Saxon immigrants who would be the forefathers of the LC-MS in America. Some of the most interesting and convincing arguments have to do with the importance of education as these church leaders (Luther and his compatriots in the one case, Walther and his in the other) saw it. For them, Lutheran education was absolutely non-negotiable if the next generation were to carry on in the Christian faith. In particular, Dr. Korcok musters a well-organized force of historical facts to convince the reader that the Saxon immigrants left for America not because of the religious oppression of their churches but rather because they wanted to ensure that their children could be educated free from the influences of Rationalism and Pietism rampant in nineteenth-century German education. To them, as to the Reformers, providing a Lutheran education for their children mattered that much. The historical unfolding of such insights kept me turning pages in a way not expected of footnoted historical tomes. (I even found the footnotes quite interesting much of the time.) The book is not full of new revelations in each chapter, but each chapter deepens the understanding of the revelations Dr. Korcok sets forth early on. His thesis is that successful Lutheran education combines the historic liberal arts with catechesis to prepare baptized children of God for their vocations. The two eras on which he concentrates admirably support this thesis and inevitably lead the reader to bring history forward and ponder the implications for today. Lutheran education in the twenty-first century is, in fact, the topic of the book’s last section, but here, unfortunately, the work is weaker. The arguments in the final section of the book often seem stretched and contorted. Historical evidence presented in prior chapters is frequently interpreted in a “they felt that . . .” or “it is obvious they believed . . .” manner when it is not clear that such motives can be ascribed with certainty. Perhaps Dr. Korcok is right in his assertion that all the Lutheran revivers of liberal arts education believed these arts must be a flexible system to meet the needs of their society, but I would have been interested to see him invest as much attention on the different levels or tracks of schooling established both by the Evangelical reformers and Saxon immigrants. In part, however, the final chapter is weak because it can only touch lightly on topics deserving of at least a whole book of their own. It must be mentioned that the text suffers from mediocre editing. I noted at least two or three dozen cringe-inducing errors of word omission, repetition, incorrect punctuation, and the like. While they are not severe enough to inhibit understanding, they make the book appear less than scholarly, which is not a designation it deserves. These things aside, Lutheran Education provides a historical portrait of its topic that is rigorously researched yet pleasantly readable. It left me pondering what the confluence of the historic liberal arts and Lutheran catechesis should look like in our twenty-first century schools. I hope it will raise the same questions for other readers, because this is a conversation worth having.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Classical education is something of a buzzword in Christian circles these days. Classical Christian schools started gaining steam in the 1990s and show no sign of losing momentum. Lutheran classical schools also seem to be popping up everywhere, and an increasing number of my Lutheran peers are turning to classical homeschooling for their children. As an educator and parent, I was very interested to dig deeper into this trend to see what the fuss is about. As it turns out, Lutherans are not simpl Classical education is something of a buzzword in Christian circles these days. Classical Christian schools started gaining steam in the 1990s and show no sign of losing momentum. Lutheran classical schools also seem to be popping up everywhere, and an increasing number of my Lutheran peers are turning to classical homeschooling for their children. As an educator and parent, I was very interested to dig deeper into this trend to see what the fuss is about. As it turns out, Lutherans are not simply riding on the coattails of a trend; there is a rich Lutheran tradition of the liberal arts dating back to the Reformation and preserved by early Lutheran immigrants to America. Thomas Korcok's engaging, thoroughly-researched historical narrative digs deep into the foundations of Lutheran education, its influences, and the ways in which Lutheran history and theology provide a unique backdrop for pedagogy and schooling. Dr. Korcok has organized his book as a triptych, focusing on major periods of history that shaped Lutheran education. The first period describes 16th century Lutheran pedagogy and its influences - how the distinctiveness of the Lutheran perspectives on baptism and vocation distinguished Lutheran schools from the humanist, rationalist, and Pietist streams that shaped Protestantism and continue to drive much of Christian education today. The second period is the 19th century, beginning with C.F.W. Walther's education in Germany, the Saxon migration to America in 1838, and how the Missouri Synod's schools both shaped the emerging Midwestern landscape and were influenced by American culture. (I also appreciated how in this section, Korcok did not hesitate to point out the ways in which the Missourians' practices fell short of their ideals - there are a few good warnings to be heeded from this period!) The last period is the modern day. Korcok traces the development of the neo-classical movement that began with Dorothy Sayers and drives classical education today. He also points out a few ways in which Lutherans should be very cautious in adopting some of the pedagogy and curriculum that are more influenced by Erasmian humanism and Pietism than by the Gospel. This work is a must-read for Lutheran educators, parents, pastors, and anyone who is interested in exploring the question of what a Lutheran school should look like. It's also a fun historical read for those not involved in education.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    **Winner of the 2012 Concordia Historical Institute Award of Commendation**

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    An awesome book about a subject dear to my heart. An excellent history and definition of Lutheran Classical Education. A must read for any Lutheran educator or board member, etc. Check out www.ccle.org for more on Lutheran and classical education. Provides a great framework for discussing what education is and isn't. Good for any Lutheran as well, of course. I already feel like I need to read it again immediately. That is the same feeling I had with Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death. An awesome book about a subject dear to my heart. An excellent history and definition of Lutheran Classical Education. A must read for any Lutheran educator or board member, etc. Check out www.ccle.org for more on Lutheran and classical education. Provides a great framework for discussing what education is and isn't. Good for any Lutheran as well, of course. I already feel like I need to read it again immediately. That is the same feeling I had with Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Super interesting content, but the organization is a little all over the place. Lots of repetition.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Doctor VanNostrum

    Entirely enjoyable and well worth the investment of time. Thorough. Naturally, most useful for historians of education with interests in this subfield.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mr

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    Anna Lynch

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    Brennick

  11. 5 out of 5

    Seth Georgson

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    Kristi Leckband

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    Susan

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    Brett Boe

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    Gary

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    Haley

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    Gretchen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brent McGuire

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    Pete Jurchen

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    Johann Caauwe

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    Jon Boehne

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    Joshua

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    Glenda

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gaven Mize

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brennick

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    Ryan

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    Miciah

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    Georg

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    Jeremy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ross and Kris

  31. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Wolfmueller

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    Becky F.

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    Rebeccahanusa

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    Christine

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    Scott Gercken

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    Sue

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    Eli Voigt

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    Keaton

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    Tom Brennen

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    Blake Brown

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    Heidi Gottschalk

  42. 4 out of 5

    C.A.

  43. 4 out of 5

    Josemar

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