- People share a fixed human nature; this nature is to be formed toward proper ends, not followed.
- Children, while beautiful and precious, need direction, boundaries, and direct instruction by prudent and well-educated adults.
- The aim of education is human formation – to ennoble hearts and minds and to grow citizens who not only cherish rights but also fulfill obligations.
- Teachers ought to not only impart knowledge but also promote virtue in students by building habits in them and by modeling good character.
- Humans should pursue knowledge, not merely for practical purposes but for its own sake.
- Certain knowledge and skills must be mastered by children regardless of their natural inclinations and personal interests.
- A good education will necessarily challenge students beyond their will; achieving good things often involves strong effort.
- That the pursuit and defense of the good, true, and beautiful, and the contemplation of the summum bonum (highest good) are essential to our humanity.