ABOUT

What is the purpose of a good education? What are we aiming for? And what can we as teachers do to ensure those goals are carried out in our classroom? The great thinkers have been conversing about these issues for as long as there have been tools to record their thoughts, and consequently our Western literary heritage has much to offer us as we prepare to serve our children through education. 

This four-session refresher course will provide a philosophical and practical foundation for the upcoming school year, inspiring teachers to tackle their chosen curricula with hope and confidence. CenterForLit Director Adam Andrews shares insights from great literature and more than twenty years of experience in education on a range of topics applicable to all teachers, regardless of their educational background, experience, or curriculum choices. The principles discussed here will enliven your teaching no matter what program you use.

CONTENTS

Purchase includes the class syllabus containing short readings from classic books which are to be read prior to each session. You will also receive both video and audio-only recordings, as well as supplemental handouts to each discussion.

COURSE OUTLINE


Day 1: What is an Education? 

  • Selections from The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis.
  • Participants will discuss the effects of a materialistic culture on our views of education, the difference between fact-knowledge and self-knowledge, and the tension between striving to achieve mastery vs. humility.

Day 2: What is a Teacher?

  • Selections from The Book of Job.
  • Participants will discuss the role and identity of a teacher, common sources of insecurity, and principles for confident and restful teaching.

Day 3: Who are our Students?

  • Selections from The Gift of Fire by Richard Mitchell.
  • Participants will discuss varying views on human nature and development as understood by modern culture, the classical model of education, Charlotte Mason, and more; we will discuss the effects of those assumptions on our teaching and in our parent-child relationships.

Day 4: Practical Approaches

  • All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Participants will discuss a humanistic approach to lesson planning and the role that an understanding of the liberal arts can play in our curriculum development. They will receive a primer on the Socratic method of teaching and wrap up with a conversation about the practical implications of all the ideas discussed in this course.