St. Michael's
A Resource for Orthodox Elementary Education
Santa Rosa, CA
Articles on Education

For the sake of clarity, we have divided the Articles on Education into three sections.

Orthodoxy and Education

Toward An Orthodox Pedagogy

For more than thirty years, mostly in an Orthodox context, we taught in small schools which we started or help to start. After being received into the church in 1988, we struggled to discern and articulate the principles of an Orthodox Christian education, an Orthodox pedagogy.  The following series of articles are the fruit of our efforts, and we present them for your consideration.  By clicking on the title, you will be able to download the article.

                        1) Why We Need an Orthodox Pedagogy

                        2) Teaching as the Church Teaches

                        3) The Human Soul According to St. Theophan

                        4) How These Powers are Engaged in the Divine Services

                        5) How These Powers Can be Engaged in the Classroom

                        6) Chart Which Summarizes Teaching as the Church Teaches


Letter to an Educator, St. Nicholai Velimirovich

The Spiritual Benefits of Physical Labor, Fr. Dcn James Hughes

Literature, Culture and the Western Soul, Sisters of St. Xenia Skete

Crafts Should be More Than an "Elective", Fr. Dcn James Hughes

An Orthodox Way to Teach Math,   (PDF file)

Teaching Math in the Early Grades, Fr. Dcn James Hughes

Some Thoughts on Choosing a Math Curriculum  Fr. Dcn James Hughes

Childhood Neurological Development

This section of our Articles on Education needs an introduction.  A few years after we started teaching, we began to encounter students who had difficulty learning what was easy for our previous students.  Parents of some of these children were told that their child needed to be on medication.  Some were told that their children had ADD or ADHD, or dyslexia, or dysgraphia. Parents would come to us and ask, "What can we do? We do not want to give our children drugs and we were given no other answers, just Greek names for our children's problems."

We started a search for answers and found a woman who had been successfully working with children with similar difficulties. Although trained as a nurse, she spent over 35 years of her career working with children with "developmental delays."  We wrote the first acticle based on our learning from her and on our own experience of using developmental movements to help our students.  Subsequent articles are from other sources.

We can not say that reintroducing developmental movements will solve all the problems, but we are convinced that such an approach is well worth persuing. Our experience has been very positive. More information on this approach can be found at Brain Highways,

Smart Children Who Have Trouble in School    (PDF file)

Lack of "Tummy Time" Causes Developmental Delays in Children, from KY# News (Springfield, MO)

Other Articles of Interest

Intelligence and the Lost Art of Cursive Writing, Dr. David Sortino

Why Johnny STILL Can't Read, By Sam Blumenfeld

Origins of American Public Education, by Alex Newman  It is not a pleasant history, but one which we should know to some extent. Reading this history will answer many questions about why public schools are failing in so many ways.