2019 Breakout Sessions

Transforming Teaching:
Seeing Your Students as Image-Bearers

Peter Baur

Aft er hearing this presentation, a veteran teacher of 30+ years commented that it had more impact on how she viewed her role as a teacher than anything she had previously heard. This is the power of seeing your students as fellow image-bearers – a profound understanding of the opportunities you have on a daily basis to speak into the lives of your students. What does that mean? How might that change the way you see them, teach them and inspire them? Th rough personal stories, movie clips and insight, this workshop will transform your teaching.

Living in an Eschatological Universe:
Virgil’s Aeneid and the Fall of Troy

Louis Markos

It was Virgil – not in opposition to, but alongside the Bible – who taught Christian Europe the shape of history, the power that moves it forward, the primacy of duty, the pain of letting go and the burden of adapting new strategies. In this lecture, we will explore the scenes of The Aeneid: Book II, opening up the way in which Virgil presents the destruction of Troy as a happy fall (felix culpa) and as a great tragedy that provides the seed out of which greater good would come. Attendees are encouraged to bring with them a copy of the Fitzgerald translation of The Aeneid.

Hektor and Andromache:
Balance in a World Gone Mad

Louis Markos

In Book VI, Homer offers us a sort of Iliad in miniature: a self-contained narrative that carries the reader from war to peace, division to reconciliation, barbarism to civilization. We will discuss the various, underlying tensions, and then closely analyze the farewell scene between Hektor and his wife, Andromache. This scene embodies the universal, human need to find stability in the midst of chaos and meaning in the midst of existential despair. Attendees are encouraged to bring a copy of the Lattimore translation of The Iliad.

Teaching Logic Dialectically
Gary Hartenburg

This session will focus on the particular difficulties of teaching logic and how these can be addressed by the teacher’s proper understanding of the unique features of students in the dialectical stage of education. In particular, we must understand that inquiry governed by logic is both rule-bound and open-ended, and that both the rules and the freedom of logic must be properly communicated to the student. The crucial mistake to avoid is to emphasize the rules of logic at the expense of the open-ended nature of inquiry that it is designed to aid. Drawing on the works of Plato and Aristotle, this session will review the nature and purpose of logic, both in terms of the subject matter itself, as well as the attitude with which teachers must approach students in the logic stage.

Conceptually-Based Upper School Mathematics
Janet Anderson, Kevin Clark, & Christine Miller

Two years ago, Geneva School transitioned to a conceptually-based, problem-solving focused mathematics curriculum for upper grades. We implemented Math in Focus for lower grades eight years prior. This curriculum uses collaboration to foster learning and focuses on students making sense of mathematics for themselves. We will share lessons learned from the process, feedback from parents, implementation challenges, obstacles and success stories. Come learn from our experiences and see how you might make a similar transition within your school.

Classical Considerations For Computer Programming
Josh Wilkerson & Brandon Shufflebarger

Is it enough to hope that we have formed students well enough for them to engage with technology responsibly? If the goal of rhetoric is to cultivate the good man speaking well, we must consider that there is a lot to say in the world of technology, and that our students won’t have a voice if they can’t speak the language. This session’s presenters will draw on their experience from starting programming courses at Regents School of Austin and make an argument for 1) why programming should be considered classical and 2) what benefits a classical school has to offer over similar courses at STEM-focused schools.

Nature Study: The Power of Inquiry & Observation
Brynn Sowder

Children are masters at asking questions all day long. Nature is the God-given lens through which we can teach children to think critically, ask good questions, make keen observations and marvel in awe and wonder at God, our Creator. This session will address how nature study can encourage and
improve the skills of inquiry and observation. We will walk through an activity and follow up with strategies and resources to bring to your classroom.

Transitioning from Grammar to Logic
Paul Schaeffer

The classical education community is fascinated with Dorothy Sayers’ view of the Trivium. We will address whether it is proper to understand the Trivium as developmental stages; what grammar, logic and rhetoric truly are; and how to best implement these ideas in a middle school classroom.

Math is ____________
Josh Wilkerson

Many discussions of mathematics from a classical Christian perspective focus on presenting math as true, good and beautiful. While this is an integral conversation to bring into the classroom, it’s an incomplete picture. Students would leave our schools ultimately unchanged in how they practice and understand mathematics. This presentation will challenge educators on how to complete the sentence “Math is” with language that considers the practical experience. How do we understand not only the philosophy of mathematics, but the practice from a Christian perspective? How do the practices and liturgies of the math classroom impact the affections of students? We will end by offering some practical examples that can be implemented in your own classroom.

More Than Facts: Liturgy, Logic, & Literature in Middle School Science Curriculum
Jim Dolas

Our national culture is conflicted when it comes to science. Many see science as the final arbiter of truth, a discipline elevated almost to the level of deity. Others see science as the great deceiver and enemy of the Christian faith. Still others see science as too difficult to understand. How can we offer students a broader vision of the sciences as one – but not the only – valid and useful way of pursuing knowledge about general revelation? What are the logical implications of Newton’s Laws of Motion? How does plate tectonics tell students about the righteousness of God? What can The Rime of the Ancient Mariner show students about ocean currents? Or what can The Hobbit teach about forest biomes or volcanoes? How can we build a curriculum that engages not only the students’ minds, but also their imaginations and wills? Join us for a conversation on interdisciplinary integration in the middle school science curriculum.

What Are Science Labs For?
John Mays

It is all too easy to regard laboratory experiments as activities to hustle through and be done with so we can get back to the regular lessons. But if our classes are to serve our students the way they should, we should consider treating lab work as an apprenticeship in which skills are learned by watching a master (or journeyman), imitating him under his critical eye and practicing until the skill is mastered. From measurement techniques to apparatus assembly, if we treat our labs as apprenticeships that focus on transmission of skills, attitudes and ways of thinking, our students’ experience – and our relationships with them – will be transformed.

Two Great Scientific Discoveries: Part 1
Mark Phillips

By the end of the 19th century, atheism was gaining strength through Darwinian thought and a belief in a static universe. By the end of the 20th century, it was challenged by two observational discoveries that should be taught to those with the rhetorical skills to present this critical light to an unbelieving world. (Over 80% of those who disbelieve the Bible say science disproves it.) A key scientific practice is to defer to the best possible explanation for what is observed. Evidence for 1) universal origins and 2) programmed biological informational systems both demand that a Designer/
Fine-Tuner/Creator created all life. Gain confidence to teach and equip the next generation with apologetic science.

What Does It Mean To Teach Latin, Greek, and Spanish Classically?
Aaron Fudge

In classical schools, Latin is a given. However, this assumption of Latin has been a double-edged sword. While it has ensured the revival of Latin teaching, we have not had to fight for or justify teaching Latin like we have had to do with Euclid, the Great Books or the progymnasmata. With these, we had to show that the modern tools are inadequate and that classical tools are better suited to our purpose. The fight for Latin has been different, and it has left us ill-suited to address the question of what it means to teach a language classically. This seminar will offer a defense of modern foreign languages in our school curriculum.

That’s How We Stroll: Learning From Theophrastus
Steve Mittwede

Although his work was done in the ancient, “pre-scientific” era, teachers today have much to learn from the natural science of Theophrastus, who learned from Plato and Aristotle and produced 227 works ranging from science, mathematics, ethics, religion and philosophy. Many of these works are lost, and others survive only as fragments of the originals. From these ancient mines, precious pedagogical ore can be extracted. How can we improve our serve with regard to science pedagogy? Theophrastus wonderfully models the following: close observation, copious description, varied experimentation and careful classification. Moreover, he includes information regarding the known distribution and utilization of a wide variety of materials and plants. This workshop will survey his methodology with emphasis on the value of outdoor learning.

Two Great Scientific Discoveries: Part 2
Mark Phillips

By the end of the 19th century, atheism was gaining strength through Darwinian thought and a belief in a static universe. By the end of the 20th century, it was challenged by two observational discoveries that should be taught to those with the rhetorical skills to present this critical light to an unbelieving world. (Over 80% of those who disbelieve the Bible say science disproves it.) A key scientific practice is to defer to the best possible explanation for what is observed. Evidence for 1) universal origins and 2) programmed biological informational systems both demand that a Designer/Fine-Tuner/Creator created all life. Gain confidence to teach and equip the next generation with apologetic science.

The “How” of Reading Instruction
Jessica Gombert

Teacher preparation and knowledge are fundamental to reading achievement. In this session, we will discuss why a systematic phonetic approach to reading instruction is classical, brain-based and effective. Understanding how the brain functions and being knowledgeable of best practices is necessary for effective reading instruction. We will address the obstacles that get in the way of the reading process and how to come alongside struggling readers. Practical strategies for providing support in the grammar school classroom will be shared. Participants will be able to apply their knowledge of reading development into effective instructional practices.

The Art of Latin
Karen Moore

The 12th and 13th centuries have been hailed as the Aetas Ovidiana for the great extent to which Ovid influenced the literature and art. The 8th and 9th centuries have similarly been dubbed the Aetas Vergiliana for the great influence of Virgil. Even today, a student of literature who knows their stories should be able to interpret any Renaissance artwork that captures his or her gaze. This session will look at several masterpieces as object lessons in the art of Latin. Such lessons integrate the study of Latin literature with art history, enhancing students’ overall understanding and appreciation. Such studies equip our students – and ourselves – to grow as lifelong learners and lovers of both art and Latin.

Supporting Students With Learning Differences
Leslie Collins

This session will present practical ways that schools can and should support students with learning differences. Principles for considering what, how, when and why to intervene and support students will be shared as we present problems and find solutions together.

Demystifying Classical Music Curriculum
Michael Attaway

Most parents agree that they would love for their children to be trained in music and to be familiar with great musical works from the past. However, it is easy to be lost when trying to create a rich music curriculum. Because of influences from public school programs and popular perceptions about the “extracurricular” nature of music, the study of music can easily be pushed aside in favor of more familiar subjects. However, everything around us is a symbol and reflection of God’s goodness. It is vital that students make the connection between art and the beauty of God. For this reason, music is absolutely essential to the education of a child and needs to remain in the forefront of school curriculum.

Teaching Latin The Good, Old Way, in the 21st Century
Tim Griffith

It may seem impractical to spend valuable class time learning to write or speak in a dead language. As almost everyone capable of using Latin is now dead, even those who see the value of learning the language usually only see the value of learning to read it. But composing Latin, whether aloud or on paper, has been proven for centuries to be an excellent way for students to learn to read it better. This workshop will demonstrate how teachers can teach Latin the old and proven way – through composition and oral composition – while using powerful tools from the 21st century.

Classical Christian Education and Discipleship: Part 1
Brandon Shuman

Aristotle wrote that man, “when perfected, is the noblest of all animals, but when separated from justice, he is the worst of all.” In the first part of this two-part session, we will contemplate the enterprise of classical education. We will consider how its foundational assumptions about nature and man; its methodology of the Trivium; its guiding principles of truth, goodness and beauty; and its telos for the good life all intersect in the cultivation of virtuous men and society.

Excellence Defined Biblically: Are We Half-Hearted Creatures?
Dan Peterson

God does not call classical Christian schools to be average or even good – God calls us to do everything with excellence for His glory. If our aim is any less, then the Christian schooling model is a subpar education and not a supra education. In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis challenges our thinking on whether we are “half-hearted creatures … making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” In day-to-day life, “excellence” often loses its meaning. We’ll explore the question: How does one define excellence biblically?

Storytelling and The Formation of Souls
Aaron Ames

Alexander the Great considered it his most prized possession; Hitler entertained it as the means to persuasion and power; and Jesus deemed it worthy of the secrets of the Kingdom of God. One of the most universal threads running through the history of humanity is our obsession with story. But why are stories so captivating? Neuroscience tells us that our memories are made for them; biology, that our bodies are stimulated by them; psychology, that our brains crave them; and theology, that our identity is found in them. What narrative is most informing our lens of reality? If the way to the heart is through story, then we, as educators, must learn to offer our students recurring glimpses of the Gospel. If we are in the business of making souls, we must also be in the business of storytelling.

Classical Christian Education and Discipleship: Part 2
Brandon Shuman

In part two, we will consider the remarkable similarities and the complementary functions of classical education and Christian discipleship, even as we draw distinctions between them – the most important of which is that as disciple-makers, we are not seeking to sculpt better versions of Adam, but rather we are God’s instruments in His molding of young men and women into the brilliant image of Jesus.

Leveraging The Power of Curiosity
Harlan Gilliam

Charlotte Mason once stated, “Self-education is the only possible education. The rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.” This quote has inspired a reevaluation of lesson-planning and teaching. How can we stimulate the curiosity and encourage our students’ desire to know? What tools and methods can inspire their attention and help them embrace the work of learning? Unlocking curiosity and imagination can be successful when approached intentionally.

No Child Left Unknown: Building A Thriving House System
Jane Houchin & Jonathan Horner

If you’re looking for a thriving student culture where students feel a sense of belonging and purpose, consider starting a house system. An intentional approach to sorting students across common interests, abilities, age and intellect helps a house system function as the best place for students to flourish. Engaging students in the process of developing the structure is essential, so we’ll discuss how Trinity’s students have helped with decisions and offered fresh perspective on still-developing traditions. We will also explain the mechanics of getting started and the weekly task of cultural maintenance.

Racial Diversity and Classical Christian Education
Miranda Webster

In The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, Rod Dreher briefly comments about the relationship between classical Christian schools and the legacy of racism in the South. Classical Christian schools “would be wise to make special efforts toward racial reconciliation by recruiting black families, especially given that public schools are effectively resegregating.” His thought raises a question: To what extent are we “making any effort” towards racial reconciliation? With rising racial tensions and schools resegregating, we should explore ways to understand racial misunderstandings and methods to diversify and retain our curriculum, student body, faculty and board of trustees.

Creative Biblical Applications Across The Curriculum
Nathan George

How do we infuse the Bible into our various disciplines in accurate and memorable ways? This seminar seeks to equip teachers with interpretive skills, categories and creative inspiration to integrate Scripture with all our subjects. Such integration requires a broader understanding of how to faithfully apply the Bible in different contexts and a willingness to bring other academic knowledge and skills to bear on our reading of the Bible. By elaborating fruitful avenues of integration and exploring specific examples of it, this session will aid teachers at all levels as they train students to fully embrace a biblical vision for life.

Middle School Matters
Nathan Jordan

Anyone who has lived through it knows adolescence to be one of the most difficult and challenging seasons of our lives. It takes a special calling to be educators during this transition from childhood to adulthood. We must also grow in empathy and love for parents whose children have changed from sweet, innocent kids to moody teenagers who can be disrespectful, defiant and even depressed. We will focus on how we can help shape the whole person, and will review best practices and habits – from spiritual disciplines to homework strategies – to create the most flourishing experience possible during these years. We will also discuss how to help each student become his or her own person in Christ.

Teaching The Greatest Book
Hana Rodgers

Teaching God’s Word is a wonderful privilege, as well as a great responsibility. Despite the fact that our specific theological views most likely differ, our commitment to teaching God’s Word faithfully and truthfully should be the same. If we want our students to respect God’s Word, we ourselves need to handle it with great care and respect. We will discuss how to “rightly handle the word of truth,” make Bible study enjoyable, help students develop good study habits and help them get to know God – not just hear about Him. We will also discuss integrating a biblical worldview into other subjects and help our students love the Author of the greatest story.

Teaching Reading (Session 1)
Jessica Gombert

Teacher preparation and knowledge are fundamental to reading achievement. In this session, we will discuss why a systematic phonetic approach to reading instruction is classical, brain-based and effective. Understanding how the brain functions and being knowledgeable of best practices is necessary for effective reading instruction. We will address the obstacles that get in the way of the reading process and how to come alongside struggling readers. Practical strategies for providing support in the grammar school classroom will be shared. Participants will be able to apply their knowledge of reading development into effective instructional practices.

Loving And Logic
Jenni Helj

Looking for some practical strategies to help students become more responsible, not only for their academic work, but also for solving conflicts with classmates? Ever have trouble coming up with consequences for student misbehavior on the spot? Are younger parents asking for help in training their children? Do you want faculty to come to school refreshed each day instead of burnt out with chronic discipline problems or classroom management challenges? We have found helpful answers in Love and Logic parenting materials and training materials. While not all of the strategies in this curriculum are appropriate for a classical Christian school setting, many of them have been helpful in training our faculty and students, and for providing a common language for students, parents and faculty alike.

Teaching Math Well When Time Is Scarce
Hana Rodgers

As grammar school teachers, we have to teach many subjects with a limited time to prepare for each of them. This session’s objective is to equip you with some tools for teaching math. This seminar will offer ideas on how to teach the good, true and beautiful in math, as well as specific suggestions on how to integrate math with other subjects. You will leave with several very practical tips: a list of warm-up activities, wise time activities and easy ways to challenge your students.

Mission Possible Through Intentional Culture Work
Russ Kapusinki

In their book Mission Drift, Peter Greer and Chris Horst make the following observations: 1) mission-true culture doesn’t just happen; 2) thoughtful leaders intentionally craft the culture of their organizations and know it is too important to delegate; 3) mission-true organizations don’t underestimate culture; 4) cultivating a purposeful and healthy culture, reinforced by good habits, will carry forward your values and safeguard your mission; and 5) great organizations get culture. In this session, we will examine best practices for shaping and guarding your school’s culture while remaining “on mission.” We’ll consider the role of a clear mission statement, along with the structures, systems, processes, policies, procedures and people that are engaged from start to finish when assimilating new parents, students, faculty and staff into your school. The goal is to protect your school’s culture beginning with one’s first encounter with your school, throughout the application process and throughout the tenure of a student culminating in the portrait of the graduate.

Jonathan Edwards
Stephanie Boss

Jonathan Edwards, the great pastor and theologian, was also a master teacher. Far from the rote-only education he received, he recognized that children needed to fully grasp what they were learning, and employed various methods to ensure their understanding. In this session, we will explore his influences, pedagogies, techniques and habits. This session will also compare similar classical methods, especially in the area of reading comprehension. Join us to be inspired by how Edwards’ methods can engage the affections of the whole child.

How To Build A Good Board
Charles Evans

Let’s face it. School boards get a lot of blame and not much credit. Working from the insight that harmonious leadership requires certain types of competency on both sides of the ledger – boards and heads –this session explores the ways in which successful Heads of School strengthen the boards under whose authority they serve. It’s not about following a list of hard and fast rules. It is more complex, but, executed well, better for the school and personally satisfying.

Recovering A Lost Tool of Rhetoric: Stasis Theory (Part 1)
Andrew Selby

If you teach rhetoric, you should teach stasis theory. In the classical tradition, teachers recognized that any fruitful disagreement begins by identifying the true controversy at hand. The ancient Athenian could end up dead or property-less if he misidentified the controversy in court or found himself unprepared for his opponent’s argument. To address these high stakes, ancient rhetoricians developed stasis theory, which lives within invention, the skill of applying fitting arguments to a relevant controversy. In this session, we will journey through the beginnings and development of stasis theory, learning what it is and how ancient students practiced it. Finally, we will practice together using contemporary controversies.

Refreshing Your Toolkit
Allison Jackson

Academic rigor need not lead to rigor mortis! Are you stuck in the lecture rut? Could you use a few fresh ideas? Children – and adults – benefit from a variety of instructional strategies and learning methods. Students can think deeply and stay engaged when they have the opportunity to play with ideas, move to learn and articulate their understanding along the way. Th is practical workshop will equip you with creative, classical tools to take back to your classroom. Veteran teachers, please join us to share your ideas and refresh your toolkit. New to classical education or new to teaching? Here we go!

Knocking Down Hurdles: Understanding School Board Membership
Charles Evans

Many a parent has been elected to their school’s board, excited about opportunities to support the mission, exchange ideas with the leadership and instigate growth and improvement. And many a board member has found doing these noble things to be difficult, if not seemingly impossible. This workshop identifies a handful of common realities affecting the performance of many leadership teams. Hurdles exist which, if not recognized, inhibit governing wisdom, organizational effectiveness and the board’s reputation. Understanding our problems is the first step to remedying them.

Tools of Historical Reasoning
Christopher Schlect

What are the tools of historical reasoning? Most curricular discussions revolve around what topics to cover or what information to deliver. Information is important, yet a classical approach to history is more concerned with forming the way our students reason about the past. Historical reasoning is an intellectual skill, a disciplined way of drawing inferences about the past. We want our graduates to go beyond us, discover information that we did not supply them and arrive at sound conclusions that we did not suggest. We must equip them to learn for themselves. What are these history skills? Do they appear in our curricular objectives?

Teaching Writing Slowly
Matt Bianco

Rhetoric is the art of decision-making in community. As a liberating art, many smaller skills culminate in this faculty of truth perception. Teachers often cultivate this art through writing. How can our students slow down to think before they write? Writing demands attention and consistency, much like learning to play the piano or shoot a bow. The final artifact is infused by the initial inventory of ideas. Classical rhetoric offers the canon of invention, and teachers can utilize these tools to guide discussions, launch written responses and pursue unidentified truths. By using these tools, students will have thoughtful responses modeled for them each day.

Biblical Peacemaking
Russ Kapusinski

Ultimately, our Christian schools are in the business of human flourishing with a view to glorify God in all things, especially relationships. Biblical peacemaking is at the heart of schools that flourish. Peacemaking programs require a profound understanding of the gospel and its application to the various relationships within a school community, thereby enabling our mission statements to become a reality by God’s grace. In this workshop, we will look at the foundations of peacemaking and its role in shaping school culture. We will also discuss practical ways to establish and maintain a peacemaking culture.

Recovering A Lost Tool of Rhetoric: Stasis Theory (Part 2)
Shea Ramquist

No rhetorical tool is perhaps more important to revive than stasis theory. Developed in ancient law courts, stasis theory offers immediate applications for the classical classroom. With stasis theory, students unlock three of the most difficult elements of persuasive writing: inventing ideas, generating claims and structuring arguments. Most importantly, students are trained to position their argument at a point where they can make real progress. This session’s emphasis is practical, born out of years of using the theory as a backbone for rhetoric classes. Attendees will learn how to incorporate stasis theory into writing classrooms, where it can be used to craft short essays, argumentative papers and even a senior thesis.

Retention Begins In Admission
Amy Burgess

In admissions, we’re usually thinking about how to recruit new students to fill our empty seats. But is there a way to have fewer empty seats in the first place? Yes! While most of the responsibility for retention falls outside of the Admission Department’s control, we will discuss ways to raise your retention rates by nurturing new families toward a long-term vision with tours, admission events, parent interviews and orientation.

Professional Development That Works
Jim Reynolds & Brian Polk

How can we prevent professional development from being a waste of time? We will discuss seven elements that, as they drive the design of professional development, make it increasingly effective. That is, this kind of professional development leads to lasting change in teacher practices that in turn leads to increased student learning – and flourishing. While this session is more about the process than the content of professional development, we will speak about what we have used in our schools that, through this model, is leading to an ongoing transformation of classroom practices.

The Impact of the Classical Renewal Movement on Higher Education
Jeremy Tate

The classical renewal movement has become a disruptive force in higher education. Students who graduate from classical Christian schools stand out among their peers and become leaders on campus. Colleges are more eager than ever to find and recruit these students. The growing influence of the classical renewal movement comes with the responsibility of doing everything in our power to refocus colleges and universities on the timeless truths that were once the foundation of academic inquiry.

Staying Mission True
Keith Nix

The natural tendency for any organization is to drift off course. It is the rule rather than the exception. So how do classical Christian schools become the exception rather than the rule? How do we stay true to our mission, even as we experience growth and success? In this seminar, we will look at indicators and warning signs for potential drift. Then we will explore principles and practices your school can embrace and employ to stay the course, actually deepening your mission rather than drifting from it.

Spreading Hope
Russ Greg

Come and hear about what God is doing to foster a movement of culturally diverse, classical, Christ-centered schools in urban centers across the country. Learn about ways you can get in on the joy of  starting such a school and also about how you can come alongside and support others.

Pilling It On: Why Classical Schools Have Too Many Periods & Teach Too Many Subjects
Christopher Perrin

Slowly, we have been renewing the classical curriculum and recognizing that a culture of Christian love is the soil in which the liberal arts curriculum take root and flourish. As this renewal continues, we must look at the way we order and arrange the arts and subjects we teach. Is the eight-period day the best way to arrange study and learning? Is teaching 10 to 12 subjects properly ordering education to the nature of the student and the goals we seek? C. S. Lewis clearly thinks not when he advises that we should “teach far fewer subjects and teach them far better.” In this session, we shall explore the “wide curriculum” and propose some healthy alternatives to it. We will also examine several schools that are already adopting such alternatives and the fruit they are enjoying.

The Liberal Arts Tradition: An Introduction
Josh Simmons

This quick, high-level overview of classical education in Western history serves as a great introduction to the classical tradition or a refresher for those looking to be reinvigorated in their passion for classical education. This talk has three parts: what the liberal arts are; the history of liberal arts education in 10 pictures; and the liberal arts tradition today.

Hiding God’s Word in Their Hearts
Karen Moore

Most of us would readily agree with the importance and even the necessity of memorizing some Scripture. Our dear, little grammar sponges eagerly soak up grammar chants, math facts and delightful ditties. However, the suggestion of asking older students to commit whole books of the Bible to memory may seem daunting. Why? We have no cultural precedent for such a discipline. How can it be done? This presentation provides both an apologetic for memorizing large quantities of Scripture and a model for accomplishing these goals. We will examine educational models from the ancient Mediterranean world and discuss what students are accomplishing at Grace Academy.

Classical Pre-K and Kindergarten: Structure or Senses
Kris Pierce

One might argue that pre-grammar students learn better at home with their families than they do in a classroom setting. Free time, reading quality literature, classical music, cooking and learning about God can provide the foundation for a strong classical education for these young children. In today’s families, however, it is increasingly common for both parents to work and for less time to be spent on heart-training and partnering in education. How do we, as teachers, keep to the fundamentals of a classical education without surrendering to the culture? How can our classrooms engage the senses and train hearts?

Starting & Growing a Classical Christian School
Rim Hinckley, Jean Kim, & Liz Caddow

In this session you will hear from three founding Heads of School from three locations (New York City, San Diego and Waco). Collectively, these three ladies have 50+ years of school leadership experience. They will share why they started their schools, the challenges of running a school and the unique challenges of being female leaders and moms. This session’s format will be a panel discussion with plenty of time for Q&A.

What Were They Thinking?
Thomas Korcok

When trying to explain classical education to others, we tend to focus on how our teaching style is more effective, how the content is beneficial for the student and how it is superior to those commonly used in secular education. While those may be important measurements, we too often fail to realize that those who shaped the modern secular classroom had strong theological convictions that were contrary to the Christian faith. Some were Gnostics, others Mystics and others were Universalists. What they had in common was that they understood their pedagogies as tools to turn American children away from historic Christianity and adopt these anti-Christian theological views. This session will look at the theology of people such as Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori and John Dewey, and how it has shaped the modern classroom. Practical approaches for explaining these concepts to parents will be explored.