Friday, June 19, 2009

Centre for Essential Education (Texas)

A Common Hope for the Future—Meeting Today’s Crises with the Best Solutions from Both the Present and the Past

The Center for Essential Education (CFEE) recognizes, along with millions of other Americans, that the modern world, despite its material prosperity, faces many new problems and uncertainties. These include not only the disruption of the fragile balance of human life situated in the natural world but also the breakdown of community and family life, as well as the decline of any sense of enduring principles and values for sustaining all three.

The CFEE has, therefore, for over a third of a century dedicated itself to recapturing and nurturing those principles and values and applying them with new understanding to the present and future, to create a viable continuity from one generation to the next.

Long discarded patterns for traditional community life, often seen and understood for the first time in an intentional setting, begin to stimulate sincere care of neighbor for neighbor.

An integral approach offers an environment in which all the elements of life come together in a meaningful and balanced whole.

This uniquely integrated environment is exemplified for the CFEE in the community at Brazos de Dios, established almost twenty years ago in central Texas. The CFEE is not simply, then, a school or an educational institution (though it is both of these) but a direct and natural outgrowth of this unique community. Here, today, hundreds of people are actually living a sustainable life that preserves the best of the past, makes use of what's good from the present and prepares their children and grandchildren with skills and resources for a more meaningful future.

Traditional relationships become brand new and are more easily maintained in the context of a homesteading way of life within which family members don't just visit together after hours but live, work and educate together in a supportive, caring community.

An Environment for Experiential Learning

Where the Classroom is a Life

The CFEE seeks to develop solutions to today's cultural and population/habitat crises by providing an environment for people to experientially learn handcraft skills, as well as the character virtues necessary to sustain a traditional, agriculturally based society. We build on the values derived from relationships with creation, with fellow human beings and with God–all within the setting of a nonviolent and noncoercive Christianity strongly rooted in the message of peace and goodwill first proclaimed by Jesus and His disciples but lost to subsequent centuries of Christianity in the post-Constantinian synthesis.

A way of life placed firmly in the context of the natural world produces healthy, nutritious foods and other necessities while preserving and improving the natural environment.

We offer extensive, in-depth studies for the student to choose from. These include studies in culture, in education, in history, in literature and in other related fields. The CFEE is developing a practical, integrated curriculum with proven instructional methods and materials, including books, pamphlets, symposiums, seminars, workshops and audiovisual presentations.

The result is helping others reproduce this way of life by making changes in both their skill levels and their understanding, changes that enhance a sense of personal freedom, initiative, self-support and the sheer joy of providing the essentials for their own individual lives, families and communities.

We are training hundreds of young people in these skills, as well as apprenticing those desiring to become master craftsmen and teachers.