Regardless of where you do your shopping these days, you have probably run into the word “artisanal” at some point. Usually it has something to do with food, but I am beginning to see it applied to other products as well. I decided to look up the word artisanal to see exactly what they mean. Basically, it said “having the characteristics of an artisan”, so I looked up the word artisan. Here’s what I found:
I think that’s a pretty good description of what we’re doing at Heritage Prep. We have teachers (artisans) who are daily engaged in educating your child (distinctive product) in small classes (small quantities), using a classical Christian pedagogy (traditional methods). We are not for the masses and we do not employ an assembly line approach when educating our students. Instead we try to view each student as an individual created in God’s image and for His glory. As such, no two students are going to learn the same way, at the same rate, or perform at the same level. That is a significant distinction from most educational institutions today.
The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on education. It shifted the focus from training up young men and women of character and virtue to creating workers who could fill the burgeoning demand for assembly line workers in the factories. It also affected – and continues to affect – our understanding of education. Whereas education was once viewed as relational with the teacher leveraging that relationship to pour into a student’s life, we now view education as transactional. It has become a product that can be mass-produced, packaged, and sold. Lost in all of this is the belief that education is not simply the delivery of information; it is the preparation of a mind, the nurturing of a heart and the formation of a soul. That occurs best within the context of a relationship, not a lecture.
This understanding of education remains a focus as we continue to prepare for the launch of our upper school in August 2021. And we are constantly challenging ourselves to stay focused on our destination: young men and women who think with excellence, believe with confidence, and live with character. We believe our artisanal education will do just that.
Matthew H. Skinner