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    detail of front cover of Plough Quarterly No. 19

    Plough Quarterly No. 19: School for Life

    Winter 2019


    Featured Articles

    All Articles

    From the Editor

    The Community of Education Schools are a mirror of our society as a whole; what we want for schools makes plain what we value in our common life.


    A Debt to Education Student debt forms us just as radically as a university curriculum does. What’s the Good of a School? Helping your child flourish means not putting her first. The World Is Your Classroom A grandmother’s advice: Love life and love people, and the world will be your classroom. Orchestras of Change José Abreu’s model of music instruction for the poorest children has been replicated around the world.

    Personal History

    Kindergarten Before we reach my kindergarten door, thought I, so much could still happen.


    On Praying for Your Children More is accomplished through prayer by carrying the matter quietly than by using many words. How Far Does Forgiveness Reach? Emmanuel and Cancilde, neighbors on opposite sides of the Rwandan genocide, tell their story. The Blessed Woman of Nazareth Advent’s holiest consolation is that the angel’s annunciation met with a ready heart in Mary. New Heaven, New War This little babe, so few days old, / Is come to rifle Satan’s fold. Born to Us For this purpose Christ willed to be born, that through him we might be born anew.


    The Habit of Lack Is Hell to Break It rained while I was writing this / It rained, and my father died, / and it stopped, and it rained …


    A School of One Wise Bauer’s ideal school, it turns out, is a school of one. Litanies of Reclamation In The Lost Words, Macfarlane and Morris aim to restore an imaginative vision of the natural world.

    Editors’ Picks

    Editors’ Picks Issue 19 Discover four good reads, recommended by Plough’s editors: The Line Becomes a River; Virgil Wanderer; One Person, No Vote; and Maid by Stephanie Land. A Trio of Lenten Readers In preparing for Lent each year, we find ourselves turning repeatedly to a handful of proven spiritual classics.

    Family and Friends

    Family and Friends: Issue 19 News from Plough’s family and friends around the world.


    Verena Arnold Saying goodbye to our sharpest proofreader.

    Another View

    My Fearless Future What was it like to be a girl when time was clocked by jump rope chants?


    The Given Note A visual interpretation of Seamus Heaney’s poem asks where music comes from.


    Readers Respond: Issue 19 Letters to the editor.


    The Children of Pyongyang We are dedicated to establishing the first-ever treatment center for disabled children in North Korea.


    The Good Reader Reading virtuously means, first, reading closely.

    The Naturalist

    Tundra Swans The swans vanished to the northeast, honking their mysterious call.


    Michael and Margaretha Sattler Who were Michael and Margaretha Sattler? Two Anabaptist martyrs who worked to outline the fundamental principles of their movement, based on the Sermon on the Mount.

    Covering the Cover

    Covering the Cover: School for Life This issue marks the second time we’ve featured Pawel Kuczynski’s art on a Plough Quarterly cover.

    Featured Authors

    front cover of Plough Quarterly No. 19

    About This Issue

    “What’s the point of school?” Parents have a stock set of responses to repeat, but the question remains unsettled, even two centuries after the Prussians invented compulsory education. The Prussian idea of what a school is for – to mold the populace to serve the state – seems foreign to today’s liberal democracy. In vogue, instead, are slogans like “acquiring marketable skills” and “realizing your full potential.” These ideas powerfully shape our culture, thanks not least to their influence in the Silicon Valley worldview we live and breathe. But ultimately, they boil down to pursuing one supreme value: individual success in a competitive world.

    Schools are a mirror of our society as a whole; what we want for schools makes plain what and whom we value in our common life. In the Christian tradition, the life of discipleship is also a school. In this educational community, under the instruction of our one Teacher, we learn not to seek empowerment, but to find strength in weakness; not to out-achieve others, but to serve them; not to pursue our passion, but to obey a call.