Socratic Way
 

The Goal of Education
What is education about? Well, what are human beings about? We believe education should serve the end, or goal, of human life. Even in the purely natural order that goal is happiness. Every person wants to be happy. Education should help people to achieve happiness.

What makes a human being happy? That question lies at the foundations of what has been called the Great Conversation of Western Civilization. Certainly, education is not simply about the acquisition of information. It must be concerned with a far broader range of human activity and experience.

Socrates had a good answer to the question of what the goal of education is. He said it is to learn to love what is true and beautiful. Is Socrates right about this? We think so.


Young Mother and Child, by Cassatt

What We Do
We help students acquire skills that help them to become truly educated. No one is educated by the time he leaves the secondary level [high school] of education. But each person ought to possess by that time the tools that will help him to become educated as he lives his life. We call these tools, or skills, the liberal arts.  

We provide a forum for students to engage in conversation about what they think and feel regarding the texts they have read in preparation for the discussions. These discussions are live-voice audio, guided by trained tutors/moderators, and take place in our classrooms on the internet. We speak to each other in real-time.

Why Conversation?
Because it is more fully human than simply reading books or listening to lectures, though those activities have their places. In conversation, particularly conversation about ideas and universal human experience, students are more fully active than when simply reading and they derive intellectual and emotional benefits that are difficult to come by otherwise.

These discussions give students the opportunity to increase their proficiency in the two primary liberal arts - speaking and listening.  These two arts are fundamental to human relationships. Students develop the ability to put into words, to communicate, what it is they are thinking and feeling. In addition, because these discussions are very much about questions - particularly "why" questions - participants gain experience in comparison, analogy, and judgment.

Over the course of the year we discuss important ideas - honor, justice, courage, home - as we encounter them in the texts.  Students gain a greater breadth and depth of insight into human life, human experience, by this exposure to the experience of others.  They gradually develop a compassion for their fellows as they meet with other points of view, and see truth from perspectives that were previously beyond their experience. 

In addition to all of this, they develop friendships with their classmates.  And friendship, a kind of love, is an important part of education.

"The beginning is the most important part of the work."
Plato

Live-Voice Audio, Online Classrooms

  • 3rd Grade Through High School

  • Experienced Tutors/Moderators

  • Live-voice conversation

  • High School Great Books/Western Civilization Program

Your Student Will:

  • Be a better speaker and listener.
  • Be a more reasoned thinker.
  • Be a better writer.
  • Acquire a greater understanding of human experience.
  • Grow in intellectual and emotional maturity.
  • Acquire friends across the continent. 

 

 

 

Great Books Discussions
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