Annual Charlotte Mason Education Conference to Bring Renowned Artist Makoto Fujimura to Gardner-Webb

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Boiling Springs, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University will host ChildlightUSA’s annual Charlotte Mason Education Conference, June 6-9.  Approximately 150 educators from all over the United States and Canada will be attending the conference, titled “Offering Authentic Mason Education—Awakening to Delightful Living.”

The conference has been held at Gardner-Webb for eight years, and includes daily presentations, workshops, and smaller discussion groups to help educators share encouraging and challenging ideas.  This year, over 30 guest speakers will be featured, including Makoto Fujimura, a world-renowned artist; Margaret Coombs, an official biographer of Charlotte Mason; and Gardner-Webb’s own Dr. Carroll Smith, education professor and founder and board member of ChildlightUSA.

The sessions cover a variety of subjects—from teaching children with special needs, to analyzing poetry, to promoting physical education.  The conference plays an integral role in fulfilling ChildlightUSA’s goal to “recover and promote the educational philosophy and practice of Charlotte Mason.”

Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer and speaker recognized worldwide for his cultural influence by faith-based and secular media alike.  A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-2009), Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992, and has contributed internationally as an advocate and governmental policy advisor for the arts.

Fujimura’s work is exhibited at galleries around the world, including Dillon Gallery (New York), Sen Gallery (Tokyo), The Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, and the Tokyo University of the Arts Museum.  More information is available at

Fujimura will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 7 in Blanton Auditorium.  Tickets are $30, and admission is free with full conference registration.  Visit to purchase a ticket via PayPal.  Please print out PayPal receipts—they will serve as tickets for admission.

Charlotte Mason (1841-1923) was a well-known English educator who raised educational standards, particularly in the home education arena. She believed education was more than just an exchange of facts; that cultivating character and discipline through a dynamic and interactive scholastic curriculum in a supportive atmosphere were all equally important in educating a child.

According to Smith, Mason’s educational philosophy is based on being created in the image of God, so the primary focus is to develop the child.  This creates a shift in the methodology of teaching.  Rather than exposing each child to one standard curriculum, Mason believed the curriculum must be tailored to fit each child, maximizing their learning potential.  Using age appropriate activities and learning techniques allows educators to teach at a level that each child can understand.  Smith says this helps the child develop creativity and an innovative spirit.

ChildlightUSA’s goal is to use Charlotte Mason’s teaching methodologies “to change the paradigm of education and to make it more compatible with what it means to be human,” says Smith.

Additional information about the conference is available at Smith is also available at 704-406-4406.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C, Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that prepares students for career success and for engaged, responsible citizenship in their professional, civic and spiritual communities.


 Communications intern Jeanie Groh contributed reporting.