Intellectual Character: What is it? And Why Does It Matter? The Critical Role That Intellectual Character Development Can Play in Classical Christian Education (Part II)

Let’s say that we have a clear understanding of what intellectual character is, and agree that it matters. Now what? In this interactive session, using examples from Rosslyn Academy, Phil will facilitate a dialog surrounding some simple and practical ways in which teaching for intellectual character can become a part of your classroom and school culture.

Phillip Dow

Dr. Philip Dow (PhD, Cambridge) has been involved in Christian education for 15 years in both classical and nonclassical schools. He is currently the Superintendent at Rosslyn Academy, a Pre-K–12, international Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya, of 650 students from over 50 di erent nationalities. Phil is also the author of Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development for Students, Teachers and Parents (IVP Academic, 2013).

Intellectual Character: What is it? And Why Does It Matter? The Critical Role That Intellectual Character Development Can Play in Classical Christian Education

The concept of intellectual character has strong biblical and classical roots, but until very recently has been largely ignored or missed by modern education. In this session, Phil Dow will define “intellectual character,” describe its potentially transformative impact on learning and life, and argue that the pursuit of virtuous intellectual character needs to be a fundamental aim of Christian education.

Phillip Dow

Dr. Philip Dow (PhD, Cambridge) has been involved in Christian education for 15 years in both classical and nonclassical schools. He is currently the Superintendent at Rosslyn Academy, a Pre-K–12, international Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya, of 650 students from over 50 di erent nationalities. Phil is also the author of Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development for Students, Teachers and Parents (IVP Academic, 2013).

Plato: Understanding the Foundations of the Classical Education Tradition

Plato is one of the principal founders of the Western intellectual tradition, and his understanding of education has had a profound impact on the development of educational theory and practice around the world for nearly two-and-a-half millennia. The study of his views is thus of great bene t, both as a means of examining fundamental questions about the nature of education addressed in his work, and also as a means of better understanding the historical roots of the Western educational tradition. This seminar offers an introduction to Plato’s educational thought by examining the historical and educational context in which he lived, his understanding of the nature and purpose of education, his proposal for a program of education, and some contributions that his thought has for our own educational thought and practice in the 21st century.

David Diener

Dr. David Diener began his formal post-secondary education at Wheaton College, where he graduated summa cum laude with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Ancient Languages. A er pu ing his philosophical training to work by building custom cabinets and doing high-end nish carpentry for an Amish company, he moved with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, where they served as missionaries for three years at a Christian international school. He then a ended graduate school at Indiana University, where he earned an MA in Philosophy, an MS in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual PhD in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education. He has taught at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, TX, and currently is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, TX. He also teaches philosophy courses for Taylor University as an Adjunct Professor. The Dieners have four wonderful children and are passionate about classical Christian education and the impact it can have on the church, our society, and the world.

The Winsome Instructor Teaching Well

After 23 years in the classroom, I’ve come to the realization that the key to successfully educating any student and encouraging them to embrace the classical, Christian model begins and ends with being a winsome instructor, which involves building and maintaining healthy relationships and structuring lessons in such a way that is captivating and leaves students desiring to learn more. In my talk I share the necessity for such instruction and practical examples of how it might be achieved in the classroom.

Rob Williams

I have been involved in classical and Christian education since 1994 in the capacity of a classroom instructor or administrator. I was the headmaster of The Master’s School in San Marcos, Texas, 1996– 1997. In 1997 I joined the faculty of Regents School of Austin as a sixth-grade teacher. In 2005 I moved to the School of Logic as a history teacher. While at Regents, I have been actively involved in curriculum development and teacher training. I am also the author of Thinkwave (CreateSpace, 2014), a YA fantasy fiction that explores the implications of a theistic worldview, and how renewing our minds according to the truth of this worldview extricates us from self-deception and transforms our lives as well as those around us. You can learn more about me and my book at my website rduncanwilliams.com

Teaching Writing in a Humanities Course

Join veteran teacher Rick Trumbo of Veritas School in a conversation about practical ideas for instructing students in writing in the context of an interdisciplinary Humanities course. Rick will suggest general principles of writing instruction and specific assignments and methods of assessment that he has employed, as well as soliciting discussion from workshop participants in their own practices and questions. Middle and high school teachers of history and/or literature will nd this conversation useful.

Rick Trumbo

Rick Trumbo has nished his 40th year as a teacher of humanities and classics. He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College (BA, Humanities) and the University of Richmond (MHum, concentration in Classics). He is the father of ve children and grandfather of 10. He is a ruling elder in the PCA, and has served on the Candidates and Credentials commi ee of James River Presbytery. He has taught Humanities, Latin, the Bible, and Logic at Veritas School for the past nine years. Rick has previously o ered workshops at SCL on interdisciplinary courses and on classical virtue in political thought.

Structuring Space and Time for Human Flourishing

In this workshop, we will explore ways of structuring space (primarily classroom architecture) and time (scheduling) to promote the flourishing of faculty and students. Every school has limitations regarding space and time, and no two schools are alike in their limitations, but employing a thoughtful design process can help schools make the most of what limited space and time they have. I will share the process whereby we have begun to restructure our classrooms and our daily schedule at The Stony Brook School in hopes of inspiring schools to do the same within the context of their own limitations.

Sean Riley

Sean A. Riley, PhD, serves as Academic Dean at The Stony Brook School, a Christian boarding and day school on Long Island. He earned his PhD in philosophy from Baylor University. At The Stony Brook School, Sean has taught courses in history, English, the Bible, and philosophy; coached football, tennis, and the Ethics Bowl team; and served as a dorm dad. He lives in Stony Brook with his wife, Emily, and his four children: Aidan, Liam, Honora, and Quinn.

Teaching Information Literacy

Our students have access to an overwhelming amount of information, and whether it is communicated in cuneiform or hypertext, the skills required to understand and apply the information remain the same. We must teach our students to locate, evaluate, and effectively use this information in an ethical manner with wisdom, discernment, and savvy. Librarians play a key role in this process.

Francine Rader

Sixteen years as a high school librarian and three years at Regents School of Austin; master’s degree in Library Science; bachelor of science in Education.

Modern Pressures, Ancient Practices, Space for Grace-A Chapel Theme for Christians in the Current Cultural Moment

“Teenagers live today in a world of competing allegiances.” How disoriented our students must feel! The questions provoked by life in America today in some ways aren’t new, but in many ways are deeper and more pressing than ever before. Because of this, at Covenant we chose a chapel theme to help us as a community think through the following questions: What are the ways that our modern American culture shapes us? What can we do to “lean against” these pressures and turn our souls toward God? How does the grace of God transform us as people? The conviction involves the fact that this will create space to know God, the ultimate goal of our lives. We divided the year into three-week units and intentionally chose very practical pressures (busyness, consumerism, noise, etc.). Then during the first week of the unit we identified the issue, helping our community to see anew. The second week involved a biblical/historical lens on the pressure and a call for certain daily practices. On the third week, we opened the microphone up for students and faculty to share how these practices shaped space for God during the previous week. Come if you’re interested in learning more about how it went or if you desire to implement something like this at your school next year.

Bryan Verbrugge

Bryan Verbrugge hails from the suburban Maryland area but now calls Charlo esville, VA, his home. He has worked in Christian education for his entire career, starting in Pennsylvania right out of college, followed by a move to the Covenant School in Charlo esville in 1996. His current responsibilities include leading weekly chapel services, advising the administration, and teaching the senior class Theology every year. He holds a BA from Geneva College and an MDiv from Westminster Seminary.

Quo Properamus? How to Use Active Latin in the Classroom

This seminar provides Latin teachers at the primary and secondary levels with simple and tested strategies for developing active Latin use in their classrooms. Using the theory of Comprehensible Input as presented by Stephen Krashen, we will examine ways for incorporating ever-increasing amounts of spoken Latin for the benefit of students.

David Noe

Orthodox Hermeneutical Pre-Suppositions: The Soul of Classical Christian Education

The soul of classical Christian education is found in our Confessions, perhaps more particularly in our theological and philosophical hermeneutical pre-suppositions. This talk will begin with a brief overview of major epochs of Christian hermeneutics in order to set up a demonstration of the distinctions and similarities between pre-modern, modern, and post-modern interpretive pre-suppositions. Emerging from this discussion of how we read and understand things is a somewhat definitive description of the soul of classical, Christian education.

Paul Wolfe

Headmaster of The Cambridge School of Dallas for eight years now. Previously, Associate Professor of New Testament Studies for 20 years, including the Huber Drumwright, Jr. Chair of the New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. PhD in New Testament Studies, University of Aberdeen, additional studies at Cambridge University and University of Tubingen, Germany. BCA and MA in Biblical Studies, Dallas Baptist University.