This seminar will explore the challenges of providing classical and Christian education in the urban context. I have often used the following analogy: doing classical education in a suburban context is to doing classical education in an urban context as a general practice physician’s work is to a trauma surgeon’s work. The needs of students in an urban context are often much more intensive than the needs of a student who is in a suburban context. In the urban context, the basics of food, clothing, and adequate shelter must be considered along with grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Urban students often qualify as “at-risk” students and come to school far less prepared for academic work than their suburban counterparts. The urban context demands a different approach to classical education. What does classical education look like in the urban school? This session will look at the kinds of solutions that urban schools have devised to deal with the problems that confront them as they aspire to teach urban students classically. This seminar is also designed to encourage discussion and a sharing of ideas and best practices from teachers and administrators involved in urban education.
Peter Vande Brake attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, where he was an All-American decathlete and Philosophy major. He a ended seminary at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, and then did his doctoral work at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. He taught, coached, and was Headmaster at North Hills Classical Academy from 1996–2010. He is a leadership consultant for the CiRCE Institute and the high school principal and track coach at The Potter’s House School in Grand Rapids, an urban Christ-centered school. He is married and has two daughters.