Dr. Carroll Smith was introduced to Charlotte Mason at a L’Abri conference in the 1970s. While a young middle school teacher working within a mechanistic educational system that he saw neither inspired nor engaged his students, he attended Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s presentation on Mason and knew that the ideas of Charlotte Mason were what was missing in his professional training to become a teacher. He will always be grateful to Susan for then sending him Mason’s book, An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, which gave him the scope and framework of Mason’s ideas.
The seeds of ideas given by Mason in her various books have slowly taken hold and have grown year by year as Carroll worked as a middle school teacher, school principal, professor of education, and university dean. Over the decades of working with children and teachers, teaching undergraduate and graduate education courses including philosophy of education courses, and helping to establish CMI as an accrediting agency, he finds that Charlotte Mason gets the ontology of children correct and thus, subsequently develops a philosophy of education and methods of education that match to the child as a person.
He founded the educational nonprofit The Charlotte Mason Institute to promote the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason, and cherishes the relationships that have gown over the years through a collective camaraderie with people interested in seeing education from a very different paradigm.
He enjoys reading, gardening and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra, have two adult children and live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, VA. He enjoys speaking on Charlotte Mason’s theories and practices wherever he is asked. Carroll holds an undergraduate degree in Intermediate Education (grades 4–8) and a master’s in School Administration from East Carolina University, and a doctorate of education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. He is the Executive Director and Founder of the Charlotte Mason Institute.