Anchored by the Classic Learning Test

Heather Lloyd on How to Prevent Missional Drift in Classical Schools

November 09, 2023 Classic Learning Test
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
Heather Lloyd on How to Prevent Missional Drift in Classical Schools
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of Anchored, Soren is joined by Heather Lloyd, CEO of Concordis Education Partners. Soren and Heather explore how classical people founding classical schools can prevent missional drift. They stress the importance of keeping these schools small to increase mastery and discipleship. Finally, they discuss the unique and joyful environment that results from a classical school that prioritizes discovery and engagement over rigor and workload.

Today’s episode of Anchored is brought to you with support from America’s Christian Credit Union. Find out how ACCU can be the banking partner to your school or family by visiting

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:00.986)
Welcome back to the Anchored Podcast, the official podcast of the Classic Learning Test. My name is Soren Schwab, VP of Partnerships here at CLT, and today we are joined by Heather Lloyd. Heather is the CEO of Concordus Education Partners. She has over 20 years of teaching experience, including teaching her own five children. She has consulted with and started multiple schools and programs, including classical schools, colleges, and performing arts programs. She has also helped develop special need programs.

that can be adapted to fit existing school models. And we are so honored to have her on Anchor today. Welcome, Heather.

Heather Lloyd (00:37.686)
Thank you, Soren. Great to be here.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:40.482)
Absolutely. As you know, being a listener of Anchored, we always start by talking about our guests own educational journey. So why don't you tell us a little bit about your growing up in the kind of K-12 and what schools you attended or if you attended any schools.

Heather Lloyd (00:57.13)
Yes, I did. I was definitely brought up in mainly the government school system. And, you know, it's interesting. I was able to go to a private Christian school for a few years, which was wonderful, but mainly public education. And it did really form my view of education. In all truth, I hated it. I hated education.

I was in the era when they decided in public schools to do team teaching, which means that they put 60 kids in one classroom with two teachers. And it was a disaster. I actually myself had some learning difficulties, had a speech impediment, had to go to the special needs department. And so it really formed my view of education. And as I grew up, I did not want that for my children. So I started homeschooling for quite a while.

And then as I got into the beauty of classical Christian education, I fell in love more for the aspect that classical education really helps train children in discernment. And that's what I wanted for my kids. And so through that, living in small towns that needed education, I ended up starting schools and starting programs. I did have the privilege of going to a Christian college, which was helpful. I felt like I kind of regrouped.

after finishing high school from a pretty small public school that I would say I didn't learn a lot, sadly.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (02:17.543)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (02:26.166)
Yeah, it'll be interesting, you know, the next I mean, Lord willing, if we do anchor it for five, 10, 15 more years, because so far, almost everyone we speak to did not receive the kind of education that they're now so passionate about, right. But talking to some school leaders, they're now getting this first generation of students that went to their own schools and then went off to college and now they're coming back. And so I can't wait to interview them.

as they're going out and doing great things in education, but you're the norm, I think, and kind of leaders in the classical movement that has gone to government schools. How did that happen, that kind of transition to classical education? How were you first exposed to it?

Heather Lloyd (03:12.11)
So, a really good question. So I actually was exposed to Latin and the classics prior to hearing about classical, kind of a funny journey. I actually just felt like it was really important to learn Latin because it was such a foundational part of our English language, roots of a lot of words. So I did Latin. I loved the classics. I thought it was important. I knew reading was very important. So I was doing a lot of classical education with... I had a...

professional touring group for eight years that I homeschooled that were all high school kids. And I actually was working with them, having them read a lot more literature than what was going on in our community. And I fell in love with it having no idea it was called classical, but we were doing laughs and all that. And so I was exposed actually when my oldest graduated, he wanted to go to a school and he said, I want to go to a school mom that does what we're doing, these discussions and this literature.

and I found New St. Andrews College. So that was actually the first time I was exposed to with a name, Classical, even though I had been doing it for a while. So kind of a hilarious journey. And then I kind of jumped in with both feet at that aspect, at that point, really understanding what it was called that we were doing.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:15.482)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:25.714)
Well, our founder, Jeremy, he tweets, you know, at least once a month, he feels like, you know, I need I need to get that tweet out again. And he says classical education, previously known as education. Right. I mean, it used to be just called education and learning Latin was the norm and reading the classics was the norm. And and so it is interesting that we're now adding this class. I mean, it's a little bit like organic milk and raw milk and all these all these things that we now have to kind of modify. It's just.

Heather Lloyd (04:37.814)
Thank you.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:54.886)
called milk back in the days before we put all the garbage in, right? And so...

Heather Lloyd (05:00.174)
That's exactly right. So that was exactly my journey. So it was just, I finally had a name for it when I would just explain it to parents in long, you know, long dialogue, basically. I got what it was, I then had a label for it, which was really fun.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:11.387)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:15.686)
So you mentioned you had this education, you gave it to your children, and then you were surrounded in small towns and you started helping schools start. Was that the impetus behind founding Concord as Education Partners, was to share your knowledge with these schools?

Heather Lloyd (05:34.978)
Absolutely. So we moved up to Moscow, Idaho. I ended up getting involved with Logos here. I ended up getting involved with New St. Andrews College and helping launch some programs there. I got to be steeped in it in from different aspects, especially a lot of the faculty at New St. Andrews where I was constantly probably bombarding them with questions, reading quite a bit. And in that process,

I was one of the few people that had started a lot of programs. So schools started reaching out to New St. Andrews wanting to start schools. And eventually Ben Merkle just said, Heather, start a consulting firm, start working in schools. So that was kind of how it was very organic how it happened and not probably where I expected I would be. I love teaching. Ultimately, I'm a teacher and that's my favorite thing. I love working with children. I love discipling kids.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (06:13.383)

Heather Lloyd (06:27.422)
But the Lord just kind of went, up, let me shove you off this cliff. You're gonna do this now. And I'm so thankful because we have the privilege of working with almost 30 schools right now.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (06:36.794)
almost 30 schools and you've been doing this for how long?

Heather Lloyd (06:40.287)
Concord is formal is three years.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (06:43.674)
My goodness Heather, yeah, there's clearly demand for this kind of education. I don't want to generalize too much, but in your experience, the early kind of pitfalls, I guess, for schools, are what you're seeing, are they missionally there and they're lacking more of the kind of the basic know-how of how to, in a way, run a business?

Is it more of the academic consulting that you have to do? Is it HR? Where do you feel like is the biggest need with these schools?

Heather Lloyd (07:19.618)
That's such a good question. I think it's everything and it depends on, I always say our really bad marketing statement is we're crack fillers. Basically what it is, is I'm a huge fan of schools staying small so that you can disciple them and a small school is limited and I'm talking to schools that are under 200 children. Small schools are very limited financially in who they can hire and so what I find is that...

Soren Schwab (CLT) (07:28.13)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (07:41.233)

Heather Lloyd (07:46.602)
you end up with a board that really, really wants an administrator. And by administrator, I mean, you want somebody that knows business that tends to put the board's mind at ease. Well, what happens, what sacrifice when you hire that person is the culture, the discipleship and the pedagogy a lot. Um, and, but then reciprocally, when you hire a very missional person, that's a discipler in these schools, well, then sometimes the business gets compromised. And so the, the

The biggest thing I'm seeing is that you have to make sure you're offsetting either side. If you have a good business administrator, you have to make sure that you have a structure that makes sure that there's discipleship happening and shepherding the teachers and the students. If you have a good shepherd, you have to make sure you have the business side in place. So what we do is we try to basically offset the weakness of a school by providing either one. So we have some schools that have really good business structure.

We provide pedagogy, we have some that have really great pedagogy, and we provide business structure. And new schools need both. Brand new schools have to have both coming in. And so that's basically kind of the services we provide. A lot of that comes from, I functioned as a head of school. We started another school called the Jubilee School here in Moscow to serve students of all learning levels. And in doing that, I functioned as the head of school administrator for a while, and I learned all the, even though I was...

somewhat equipped in both avenues, something was always compromised. Because you had to put your energies and so I basically created a business that supports where my weaknesses were, is what it is.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:17.35)
Would you? Yeah.

So if, let's just say you have kind of a unicorn, right? And that person actually could do both. Do you still recommend, you know, stay in one lane, you know, either focus on the administrative and kind of still hire people around you? And if that's not possible, maybe financially, I mean, how do you avoid the administrator just to wear so many hats that you kind of do a little bit of everything, but none of them really efficiently?

Heather Lloyd (09:49.474)
That's exactly it. I think, and sometimes I think it's just dividing the tasks. One of the things that's interesting, the idea that good business owners have to work on the business, not in the business, is different for a school because of the, you think about the things that are in mission statements of schools, cultivate, equip, teach, train, those are active in the business words. The head of school has to be in the business.

And so what I have found is get them trained to be in the business, to coach the teachers, to coach families, disciple families, and really bring good education and take the admin off of them. Even if they're more administrative, they need to learn that pedagogical thing. But even if that's just learning where their weakness is and going, hey, could you help with this? We've got a group of teachers that need coaching. Could you bring this in so that they're facilitating what's going on? So the biggest thing I see is that the mission.

of equipping and cultivating in the school needs to be the primary focus. Whether that is by delegating it well or it is by overseeing it directly in it. I think that you have to remember your mission. Too often boards direct heads of school the wrong direction because what does the board need to see? Board reports, that sort of thing. We at least at the very minimum take that off of the head of school. Do not worry about board reports. We will do all that for you.

And that is even a business mind, it takes time to put those reports together. So let somebody else do that. And then if you're the one that has the mind to present them, great, but you don't have to do the hours of work in getting them together. So even with all that, ultimately that mission needs to be what drives that head of school, even if they're administrative. And they, but a good administrator can know at least where to delegate things. If that, if that, I hope that answers the question.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (11:41.594)
No, absolutely. And I think, you know, the trickle down cost, right, of trying to do too much. You know, can you speak to that? And I'm sure, and you work, I'm sure, with the most wonderful schools, right? But we're all making mistakes here and there, and we can learn from those. But what are some things that you have seen where you feel like, you know, there was just too much burden put on the school leader or on the team in general? What are some of the...

Heather Lloyd (11:52.116)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (12:10.758)
the side effects there.

Heather Lloyd (12:11.982)
Well, excellent question. I think what you said, everything costs something. So the board directing the head of school to work on a strategic plan costs something. And you have to kind of go, does it drive our mission? And it's really about mission drift. And too often, the business is what causes mission drift. And that's the danger, I think, that most schools find. And so I tell a lot of heads of school, what's your thesis?

I mean, what's funny is we don't run classical schools as classical people sometimes. We run them pretty typical and it's like, no, what's your thesis? Are you driving everything towards that? And those tasks that don't drive towards that need to be either delegated or postponed or something. And that's not to say that the bathrooms don't need cleaned. I'm not saying that, but that's what is my thesis. My thesis is to uphold that mission.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (13:02.466)
Right, right.

Heather Lloyd (13:09.118)
is this worth doing in light of that mission? And I think the biggest problem is that the board oftentimes has a different mission for the head of school than the head of school actually has for the school itself. And so those have to be aligned, that has to be a team that constantly throws out the fluff and drives towards equipping or whatever, or cultivating whatever those words are that are in the mission statement. So I think the biggest risk is mission drift, but not...

Not just, and it's little things that throw us off course, not often the big things, it's the little things. And they add up to where all of a sudden the head of school has not seen one discipline visit for the day where it's decided that they have literally been stuck in their office doing reports or networking with people for fundraising or, and the school's mission is lost.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (13:47.95)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (13:58.83)
Yeah, wow, yeah, that's a good point. You know, you want to be present, you want to be visible. And honestly, even for the, gosh, for the mental health of the school leader, right? I mean, what's more rejuvenating than greeting students in the hall, doing a visit with a teacher, right? Watching them in action. I mean, that's probably what gives them the most joy and the most energy. It's probably not sitting in an office by themselves working on reports, even though those, of course, are important, right?

Heather Lloyd (14:12.802)
That's right.

Heather Lloyd (14:24.842)
Right. Right, that's exactly right. Big schools can maybe have both an administrator and a shepherd. And that's great, but because we primarily work with small schools and we want schools to stay small because of that discipleship idea, because we'd rather see 10,000 small schools around. We always say we'd love to see a Christian classical school on every street corner. That kind of is an example of a statement.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (14:39.689)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (14:51.528)
So when you say small and you mentioned the number 200, is that where you would say, you know, once you get beyond the kind of 2 to 50, I guess what changes there? Like what are some of the impacts with the growing size?

Heather Lloyd (15:04.266)
Well, a lot of it is, I think, the nurturing of the kids, the discipleship of the kids, and even good education, I think, gets compromised. We're big fans of not having age-grade segregated schools, which is crazy, so we have learning levels. And one thing that's been wonderful about the CLT test is that we can use it to gauge the students and kind of put them in their learning level based on what...

Soren Schwab (CLT) (15:14.966)

Heather Lloyd (15:29.77)
what the test material is. And so that's been really, really wonderful. But we basically are saying, let's really focus on mastery, which is a huge part of classical education. Let's make sure they've mastered this and we don't just move them ahead. Well, to do that, you have to know your students really well. You have to know where they should be in humanities, where they should be in math, where they should be in science. And so that constant assessment has to come with a teacher really knowing their student well and the head of school knowing each student well. And so that...

that relationship gets watered down. The more faculty you have, the more students you have, and it's not that 200 is a magic number. I just see a big change at about the 150 mark, and again a big change about roughly the 170 mark. It depends on the school. And so a lot of our schools are in the 150 range at full capacity, K through 12.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:22.45)
K through 12. Okay. Yeah. And I do think, and maybe the statistic is a little bit older, but I remember that the average classical Christian school is still around kind of the 220. Now, that includes some bigger schools like Regent School of Austin, they have over a thousand, right? But then also you have a lot of schools that are much, much smaller and seeing them thrive in various ways. And knowing that if you have a small school or you want to start a small school, there are resources.

Heather Lloyd (16:23.583)
Yep. Keep it up.

Heather Lloyd (16:50.603)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:51.206)
that are being provided. And I think that is just so, so exciting. And with, you know, and you know that Heather, with some of the recent, you know, school choice legislation and ESAs, and there's gonna be more and more opportunities in certain states at least to start more schools, but then, you know, how do you do that? What's the first step? And so, you know, what would be kind of the recommendation or the advice that you would have for maybe some of our listeners that have been talking about

Heather Lloyd (17:04.589)
That's right.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:19.282)
We're unhappy with the education options in our neighborhood, in our city. We wanna do something ourselves. What would be the first, maybe first two or three things that you would recommend them do?

Heather Lloyd (17:29.802)
Oh, such a good question. I think I'm going to start by saying kind of what I see that ends up causing more issues and that is cut and paste education. There's this beautiful classical Christian school here. I'm going to take that and put it on my little community. And it's like almost we're doing everything antithetical to classical and that is we don't land the plane on the students. We land it with them, right? That's the idea. We really, we really want to know deeply.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:38.258)

Heather Lloyd (17:57.626)
and deeply understand something. And so what often happens is, because we're very prescriptive people, we love to take something and go, oh, this is what we're doing, this helps. Check, check, here's my handbook, here's this. And what I have found is it's not in their DNA. They go to start a school and they don't know why they're doing discipline the way they're doing. And so you end up not cultivating honor. You kind of end up with performing circus monkeys. You're like, oh, these are the rules and this is why we do it. Now, it's not that the rules are bad, but if you don't know why you're employing them.

and what you're trying to cultivate for that key word, you end up kind of going awry. Also, you'll look at good classical pedagogy and you've got these beautiful books, I think of Herodotus, where you're reading about ancient history, how wonderful. You take a little community that everybody's coming out of government education and you put them in high school and you say, here's Herodotus, you're gonna lose your students. You have to warm them up.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (18:49.467)

Heather Lloyd (18:51.262)
I think we should start schools like we would start a new team. In fact, if you look at America, sports are going really well and education is going really badly. And I think a lot of that is we know how to do it with sports. You warm people up. You make sure they stretch out. They start with a lap, then two laps, then three laps. You don't go, we're going to be marathon runners. And we're so excited to go out and run a marathon today. It's time. Twenty-four miles, you know, 25 miles, go. That's not a healthy way. Too often we put education on our community.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (18:59.533)
Ha ha!

Heather Lloyd (19:20.822)
that isn't ready for it. So I think the strategic plan needs to be how to plant the seeds and start cultivating. And that word is so key because we have to plant seeds and let them grow. We can't plant full grown trees. We're not transplanting something. And so the group that's starting a school needs to get it in their DNA. What is their philosophy of classical education? What do they want? What are they wanting to equip students in? Build all of that, then choose curriculum.

then choose your discipline plan, then choose your handbook material. But if you don't have that deep rooted foundation, you end up with a tail wagging the dog. A upset parent goes, oh, I don't know why we made that decision. Yep, let's go that way. And then a new head of school comes in and you go, oh, let's go that way. And then, and so you see these schools just curriculum changing constantly. And it's not that the curriculum doesn't make something classical. It's actually the philosophy of education and the teachers that make it classical. And so,

I think that is key to deep, get it in their DNA. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? And then let's build a school from there. So we need to start schools as classical people. And then start classical schools in a traditional business way.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:28.87)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:32.75)
Well, that's very well put. And I guess as you're talking, that makes sense then why so many co-ops, right? Home school parents getting together, they already share that foundation to then go and maybe take the next step and whether it's a micro school, we're seeing a lot more of these hybrid schools, university model, right? Where you don't want to send your kid to school five days a week, maybe two or three. We had Jeff and Starla Fowler.

from Veritas Academy in Austin on and then they talked about that and just the growth of that model. But that makes a lot of sense, that foundation is there and then you build on that.

Heather Lloyd (21:12.152)

You build on that and you know who you are. You know who you are before you start building. And too often I see where people don't know who they are, but they know what they want. And so they immediately put this education on their community, on their team, on their teachers, hand it out as curriculum. Here's the curriculum we're doing. But again, you can take really bad curriculum and a good teacher can make it come alive. The teacher, the living curriculum, it matters. The curriculum, I always know when I go to talk to a group and they say,

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:24.538)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:37.958)
Yeah, that's true. Yeah.

Heather Lloyd (21:44.466)
what curriculum? I go, I go, bear with me, bad question. Let's talk about what we're doing and who we are first. Then we'll choose the tool that supports that. It's a different mindset.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:59.042)
It is, it is, it is, absolutely. So we talked about some of the pitfalls, right? Especially for younger schools. But let's also talk about what do healthy schools look like? And so you've been doing it for a while now. What are some of the key characteristic that you can point to and say, hey, you know, these are my schools that are thriving the most. What do they have in common?

Heather Lloyd (22:21.17)
Oh, um, I there's so much I mean ultimately discipleship where the students are I hate to use this cliche term But they're seen and they're really Loved in their skill and their ability. You've got students that are joyful learning the classroom has a hum to it Not silence Um, you know, it's too often classical school. The word rigor is so often used and it's like

Soren Schwab (CLT) (22:29.611)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (22:46.415)

Heather Lloyd (22:48.626)
It's become the aim. Rigor has become the aim. It's like, no, rigor is just part of the tool of training. And it's not even, it's just, it's actually kind of what naturally occurs, but the kids want to be at school. They want more education after they've completed it, not less, but joyful learning is the hugest thing. If I walk into a school and I get to observe and I see dead silence in the classroom and lots of worksheets, I go, fail.

If I see a hum, I got to visit a school last year, brand new school first year, and you know, sixth grade, the equivalent of sixth grade boys can't get out of their seat so excited to answer this deep theological question. I mean, they're just, they're busting, they're trying to hold themselves back. That's good education. And when you hear it in the halls and they're still wrestling with those concepts and those ideas and the discussion, and at lunch...

And then you hear parents, I got to hear one of our brand new schools over the weekend. One of the board members called me on Monday and said, so we argued all weekend about this. It was so exciting. We were talking about it over dinner. We were talking and then we called friends and we were arguing over this. I went, yes, because that is good education. So it just continues. The kids don't want to classroom.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (24:03.122)
Heather, you are my spirit animal. I knew it before, but it has bothered me for so long, that word rigor. And I think it's an excuse for a lot of schools just to put quantity over quality, right? And as long as we can show, hey, look, here are all the books we're reading. Here's our reading list. And we're assigning homework three or four hours a day. That's not rigor, right? And so what you're describing is rigorous, but that can be done with one question.

That can be done with one poem, because rigor is the intensity with which you do something. It's not necessarily the lengther, you know? And so this one little thing, we could apply all the rigor to it, right? And so I love that. And I think when I tried it, and especially recently, right, with some of the changes in Florida and people and especially reporters that can make sense of classical, right, they don't quite know what it is. And they asked to find it. I said, go visit a classical school.

It'll feel different. And I keep on mentioning the word joy, and I'm not sure if they understand what I mean by that. And that's why, go visit, because it is not what you expect it to be. You know, these, I don't know, sometimes I feel like they're picturing these kids in uniforms with their hands on their desks, and the, you know, the teacher in front, and it's not that at all, right? At all.

Heather Lloyd (25:26.866)
The halls are filled with hum. That's why I love that word, the hum. There should be a hum to a classical Christian school that is beautiful and engaging. And the teachers need to be equipped to do that. Too often we even replace joy with fun. And I'll have teachers trying to make the classroom fun. And it's not fun, it's joy. And there can be fun.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (25:29.758)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (25:44.402)
Good point.

Heather Lloyd (25:52.17)
It might be a competition where they're running up to white boards and doing something. It might very well be, but the goal is not fun. The goal is joyful learning. And that's it. That's it. And the joy and a love of learning, even though we've used that so much, I want, I want lifelong learners. It's like, but really think about that. I want somebody who is hungry for truth every moment of their life. And then, and we don't, the only way to cultivate that.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (25:56.148)

Heather Lloyd (26:18.002)
is to make learning enjoyable. Let the kids have a cup of coffee and donuts while they're wrestling through their final. Let them, you know, let them absolutely sit there and talk in groups. I always, I do a lot of tests when I was teaching that would be this is open note, open book, open friend. Go wrestle through these questions, get the answer. You're like, this is just really, because we want that process of wrestling and they're seeking truth and we have to cultivate that by training teachers to do that well in the classroom.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (26:47.378)
Well, this is a perfect transition because I wanted to ask you about the bootcamp that you hosted in Moscow. And my colleague Adam Rode was attending and he absolutely loved it. And so he made sure that, Zoran, you got to ask Heather about this. So when it comes to teachers and the bootcamp, what were some of the skills that you emphasized for teachers, classical school teachers?

What are some of the, what's the it? Or what is a thing that you feel like a good classical teacher needs to have?

Heather Lloyd (27:20.618)
I love that. I always, my one thing, and people joke because I say it so much, but never deliver what the student can discover. It is key. You have to, even at the little guys level, even with the littles, never deliver what they can discover. That is the ultimate thing that helps them hunger for learning. You're training them how to discover, and we're training them how to discover truth. And that's...

Soren Schwab (CLT) (27:31.238)
Love that line.

Heather Lloyd (27:49.706)
It's a Christian tenant, it's a discipleship tenant, and it's good teachers. So ultimately training the teacher how to never deliver what a student can discover. That would be the one thing I would say.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (28:04.814)
And it's a pitfall for new teachers, right? And I remember when I was a first year teacher, in a way when I planned my lesson, I was thinking about, here are all the things that I need to say. And I look back and I think, oh my goodness, that is awful. Right, instead of thinking, here are the things that I want the students to discover throughout my lesson, right? And I can of course help them and guide them, but it was all about, here are the things that I need to get through regardless of, I'm not alone, right? That's a...

fairly common, right? And I feel like it might even be a teacher ed kind of progressive education problem, but yeah.

Heather Lloyd (28:40.398)
Well, I think it's also, I think what happens is we end up with information. We're so worried about quantity of education, not quality of education. So we're panicked if this discussion goes on too long. What if we don't get through all the dates? It's like, who remembers the dates? I have to still look everything up. And I think I did nothing but memorize when I was younger, you know, and I always, I always say we want to make.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (28:48.658)

Heather Lloyd (29:06.702)
We want to put pegs on the wall. The memory should be pegs on the wall that they're going to hang a whole lot of material. You know, and that's that learning that should be deep. But where CS Lewis talked about that education should be formative, not informative. And yet, we end up delivering a whole lot of material. One of the things I like to say is, and this does not count for the teachers, the littles as much because they are learning, you know, a lot more. But I think at the definitely fourth grade and up, and that people would probably argue with me on that.

At the end of the day, the students should be mentally exhausted and the teacher refreshed. And the difference is the students are doing the heavy lifting, not the teacher. And that's the difference. I remember one time at the end of a final, a student said, she said to me, I just learned more in this final than I've learned in my entire life. It was an eight hour final I used to give. And that wasn't for the purpose of rigor. I wanted them to really wrestle the questions. And she said, I just learned more. I went, that is what we want.

We want the kids going, and it was all thinking that they had to do. It wasn't regurgitating information. It was wrestling. Now there's a point, there's an aspect that we want them to be able to regurgitate some information. We do have to test and assess skill, but this idea of just deep rooted, mild deep inch wide, and it really gets into the truth of the Trivium. The truth of the Trivium, I really do think Dorothy Sayers got it wrong. I'm probably gonna be shot for saying that.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (30:32.142)
Might be cancelled, Heather.

Heather Lloyd (30:33.41)
Yeah, I know. But I really, I firmly believe that she was taking kind of the psychological development of the day and kind of marrying it with liberal arts. And if you really study the trivia and the art of words, it's moving from the concrete to the philosophical. And I got that from several of the faculty at New St. Andrews, which I love. It's just we're moving from these concrete things to where then the kids are puzzling in logic and wrestling and using that information for different things. And then rhetoric.

is that copiousness coming out. And that could be in many fashions. I always say that as a Christian classical educator, we need to, the kids have a well. The grammar is aligning the well to make sure it doesn't leak. Then the logic and rhetoric is we're pouring, well, we're still grammar, we're filling their well with content, with stuff that they're wrestling with. They're doing it. And then rhetoric is them using a bucket. And we want that bucket to get bigger and bigger. That's the logic, if you will.

they're pulling it out and pouring it out and then refilling it. We are teachers, we're filling our well. They need to be the ones drawing the water and pouring it out. And that's, I think the best analogy I've been able to come up with what a good classical Christian education is.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (31:47.794)
Wow, beautiful. Heather, this was so lovely. I can't believe we've been chatting for 30 minutes. It felt like we just started. But we do have to, of course, ask you one final question. Question we always ask on the Anchored podcast. And I see a lot of books in the background. So I know you're well read. If there's one book or one text that you can point to that has been kind of most impactful in your life, what would it be and why?

Heather Lloyd (32:11.926)
Well, this is such a good question, and thank you for presending that question, because I really wanted to wrestle. I think one of the most important things I think that classical educators need to remember in a Bible verse that has influenced me is Romans 15.1 about the strong taking care of the weak. I also think it is what offsets arrogance that tends to come with knowledge puffing up. When I have to take care of the weak, even in my class or as a teacher, it definitely takes down that, and that should be pivotal.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (32:16.846)

Heather Lloyd (32:41.002)
But then there's a book by Steven Perks. I have it sitting here called the Christian philosophy of education explained and if nothing else I think it keeps us focused on what we're doing in classical Christian education What we're really aiming at is that discipleship and then I'm so sorry. You said one book. I'm real quickly to Prognosis I think are the key to the Trivium and there's a book on program nos mitas They basically all the Greeks explaining what they are. I think that's key

Soren Schwab (CLT) (32:59.823)

Heather Lloyd (33:09.662)
and then Martianas Capella and the seven liberal arts, which I think gives us a much more robust understanding of the integration of the various fields of study. So I almost can't say one because it's all of that together that has formed my view of classical Christian education. That helps.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (33:27.538)
That's okay. It's a little cheating is okay. It's okay. No, those are those are wonderful. And I know our, our listeners, we love these recommendations, right? Because there's always more we can learn and read. And, and two of those I've actually never read myself. So I'm going to put them on, on my list, on my list as well. Well, Heather, thank you so much. Again, we're here with Heather Lloyd, CEO of the Concordis Education Partners. Thanks for all you do.

Heather Lloyd (33:30.862)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (33:54.092)
in supporting classical Christian education. And of course, thank you so much for joining us today.

Heather Lloyd (33:58.134)
Thank you so much. Have a great day.