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, we taught in small schools, mostly in an Orthodox context, which we either 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 writings are some of the fruit of our efforts, as well as other articles on education.  By clicking on the title, you will be able to download the article. We are currently working on other articles on an Orthodox approach to education and will post them when they are ready.

The first offering is a transcript of a talk given at the 2022 St. Kosmas Orthodox Education Conference. It gives the basic foundation for our view of Orthodox education.

                    1) Teaching as the Church Teaches, Bringing the Wisdom of the Church into the Classroom

The is a handout, summarizing aspects of "Teaching as the Church Teaches"

                     2)  Handout for Teaching as the Church Teaches    

 The following is an address given at a recent clergy retreat. It is offered here as an encouragement for the establishment of Orthodox elementary schools.

Defending the Souls of Our Children: The Place of Orthodox Schools in Their Spiritual Formation


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.