Fostering Dignity Through Prudence

Bona Verba from the Headmaster

At Cincinnati Classical Academy, we believe in fostering the inherent dignity of every individual, instilling values that go beyond academics to shape our students into virtuous citizens of the world. Central to our mission is the promotion of seven core virtues, with prudence standing as the cornerstone of our educational philosophy.

Prudence, as defined by classical thinkers, is the ability to make sound judgments and decisions in practical affairs based on careful consideration of the circumstances. It is about doing the right thing, saying the right things, and exercising self-discipline to avoid harm and promote the common good.

In our curriculum, we integrate the concept of prudence in various ways, one of which is literature. Take, for example, the timeless tales of Peter Rabbit and The Wind in the Willows. In these stories, we witness characters grappling with dilemmas and making decisions that reflect prudential judgment.

In Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, we follow the mischievous young rabbit Peter as he disobeys his mother’s warning and ventures into Mr. McGregor’s garden. Through Peter’s adventures, students learn the consequences of impulsive actions and the importance of exercising caution and foresight. By discussing Peter’s choices and their outcomes, we impart valuable lessons on prudence and responsibility.

Similarly, in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, we encounter the character of Toad, whose reckless behavior often leads to trouble for himself and his friends. Through Toad’s escapades, students learn about the dangers of impulsivity and the need for thoughtful decision-making. By analyzing Toad’s actions and their consequences, we emphasize the importance of prudence in navigating life’s challenges. (And students also enjoy a beautifully told story for the sake of itself!)

The cultivation of prudence goes beyond the pages of literature; it is best modeled by our dedicated faculty and staff. Our educators serve as role models, demonstrating prudential judgment in their interactions with students, colleagues, and the broader community. Through their guidance and example, students learn to exercise discernment, temperance, and wisdom in their own lives.

As a school community, we strive to create an environment where prudence is not just a concept but a lived reality in which students treat one another with respect. Through class discussions, moral reflections, and character-building activities, we encourage students to develop the habit of prudent decision-making, laying the foundation for a lifetime of ethical behavior and responsible citizenship.

Yes, we are committed to nurturing the inherent dignity of every individual through the cultivation of prudence. By integrating this core virtue into our curriculum and embodying it in our daily interactions, we ennoble students, forming them in the habits that best allow them to make virtuous choices.

Torches Up!
Mr. Michael Rose

Michael Rose - Headmaster

Mr. Michael Rose

Meet the Headmaster

Mr. Rose has taught various courses at Brown University, Cincinnati Moeller, and The Summit Country Day School. As a part of his degree work in education, Mr. Rose’s research interests included the Great Books curriculum, the Paideia teaching method, and the “effects of emerging digital technology on student reading, writing, and researching.” Read More