The CMI tribute

The CMI Tribute is designed to honor members of the Charlotte Mason community who have made significant contributions to the advancement of  Mason’s ideas for education.

promoting charlotte mason’s ideas for education

honouring our key individuals

Almost a century after her death, Charlotte Mason’s design for education continues to impact the lives and education of thousands of children. Without the contributions of some key individuals, however, it may well be that Charlotte Mason’s influence would not be felt across the world in our times. The CMI Tribute is designed to recognize such individuals.

2021 honouree

Caroll Smith

Caroll Smith

Over the past two decades, Dr. Carroll Smith has shaped the Charlotte Mason movement in countless ways.

He completed his doctoral studies on Charlotte Mason with a dissertation titled Charlotte Mason: An Introductory Analysis of Her Educational Theories and Practices and has since added numerous areas of related study to his knowledge, insight, and critique of Mason’s design for education.

He founded the Charlotte Mason Institute (formerly ChildLight USA) and, beginning in 2005, he and his wife Andra began organizing and hosting the Charlotte Mason Institute Annual Conference, now in its 17th year, creating a relational space for deep and honest conversations around Mason’s ideas. Thousands of educators (over 2000 have attended over the years)—home educators, classroom teachers, and school administrators—have been influenced by the relationships and content they explored and shared at the CMI conferences. Dr. Smith has offered plenaries, workshops, and practice sessions on a wide variety of topics such as Narration, Mason in the 21st century, Dualism in Education, Living Books, and more.

Dr. Smith was also granted research support through the Canadian government from the Humanities and Social Science Research Council of Canada, towards a two year project from 2009-2011 of Charlotte Mason Collection Digitization at Armitt Museum, now housed at Redeemer University.

He has been appointed by CMI and the University of Cumbria as a Visiting Research Fellow in Charlotte Mason Studies from 2020 to 2025. He is also serving as the 2021 Scholar-in-Residence in Charlotte Mason Studies at the University of Cumbria where he is working on a project analyzing the letters of Charlotte Mason.

During his residency and the following eighteen months he plans to complete a monograph on the letters of Mason to Henrietta Franklin and a book of Mason’s letters, completed in collaboration with previous CMI Tribute recipient, Dr. John Thorley, former principal of the Charlotte Mason College. He hopes these projects will enhance understanding about women in leadership; about Mason’s biography and the influence of relationships on her educational thought; and about the applicability of Mason’s design for education today.

Throughout all of his efforts, Dr. Smith has worked tirelessly for the children’s sake and for the sake of all teachers and students in every setting. He is generous with his time, his energy, his devotion to spreading Mason’s life-changing ideas—the fruit of which will be seen in the decades and perhaps even centuries to come.


Dr. Carroll Smith was introduced to Charlotte Mason many years ago through Mason’s book An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education.  From there 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, a principal and a college professor in both public settings and Mason-inspired schools.  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 live in Roanoke, VA, and also enjoy visiting their granddaughter, Lily, in the UK.