The Sophistry of American Education

This session desires to look critically at the unity of the Trivium. Rhetoric in the Grammar Stage does not only mean oral presentations. It will challenge this notion and ask the question, how can we give rhetoric a proper seat in each classroom? This session focuses on the Rhetoric of Fiction, laid out by Wayne C. Booth in his book The Rhetoric of Fiction. It takes the principles found in that book, as well as from other scholars in the field of rhetoric, and applies them to K—6 classrooms. This session will discuss the rhetorical lens that can be applied to lessons surrounding fiction and will give intentional questions to ask and discussions to employ in order to prime the pump for future rhetorical analyses. The focus of the seminar will be on the narrator and the impact on a story because of the specific narrator chosen by the author. The instructor will also give two examples of how to employ these principles and tactics in the classroom in order to create a rich environment around reading. It will give an example through a short story and a picture book.

Colleen Dong

Colleen Dong has been with The Cambridge School for five years. She is passionate about classical Christian education and is constantly delighted to get to spend her days with the kindergartners shaping their a ections and preparing them for their classical journey. Colleen was born and raised in San Diego. She received a BA in English from Azusa Paci c University. She also studied for a semester at the University of Oxford, where she found a renewed appetite for education. After graduating, Colleen desired to be a part of a classical school and quickly found a home with Cambridge. She is now pursuing her master’s degree in Rhetoric from San Diego State University and is particularly interested in integrating rhetorical practices at an age-appropriate level in the Grammar stage.

Common Core, AdvancED, and the Changes in the Works

There’s much in the news about Common Core– less about AdvancED. Put together, these two developments represent what may turn out to be, arguably, the biggest educational change in the past century. As classical Christian schools, we need to understand the ideas behind these organizations so that we can look toward the changes that may come in the future. In this session, we will look at regional accreditation as a model, understand the AdvancED in uence, and look at how the combination of AdvancED and Common Core will likely impact the nation’s schools— public, charter, private, and classical Christian. We will look at ways to prepare now for inevitable changes that will impact even non-AdvancED, non-Common Core schools as a result of market and political forces. As these two forces in education— one specifying what should be taught and the other enforcing it— become more “baked in” to k-12 schools, colleges, and standardized testing, we need to be prepared.

David Goodwin

David Goodwin is currently the President of the Association of Classical Christian Schools. Previously, he served for 10 years as Headmaster, and 20 years on the board of The Ambrose School in Boise Idaho. During his time at Ambrose, his work in gaining state recognition for athletic purposes brought him into the world of regional accreditation. He and his wife, Stormy, live in Boise with their children Elise (15), Alex (14), and Graham (9). They are members and worship at All Saints Presbyterian Church (PCA).

The Centrality of Virtue in the Ancient Understanding of Education

In the contemporary discourse about education, discussion of virtue as the goal of education is strikingly absent. When “virtue education” is mentioned, it is generally treated as an add-on to the curriculum, not as the overarching goal of everything that is studied. This conception
of education, however, stands in stark contrast to the ancient understanding that the primary purpose of education is is the cultivation of students into virtuous human beings. While this understanding of education can be seen across a wide swath of thinkers throughout history, in this seminar we will examine two key ancient thinkers: Plato and Aristotle. In focusing on their understanding of the purpose of education, we will explore the central role that virtue plays in their thought and how we can apply their insights today.

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. After putting 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 a M.A. in Philosophy, a M.S. in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual Ph.D. in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education. A er teaching for one year at The Stony Brook School on Long Island he moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School. He now is the new Headmaster at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas.

The Three Philosophies of Education and American History

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the Founder and President of CiRCE Institute. He has also helped found Providence Academy, Ambrose School, Great Ideas Academy and Regents Schools of the Carolinas. Andrew is the co-author of Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America, The Lost Tools of Writing and The CiRCE Guide to Reading. Andrew is also a consultant and founded the CiRCE apprenticeship.

John Dewey and the War of Ideas in American Education

There is a widespread sense that something is deeply wrong with American public education. In this session, Jon Fennell suggests that the quality of public education is a function of the ideas upon which it is built. Therefore, if public education is failing, that is because of the ideas that control it. What are those and what alternatives exist? Many critics of education assert that John Dewey is a primary source of bad ideas that are crippling our schools. To what degree is this allegation accurate and fair?

Jon Fennell

Jon Fennell is Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Teacher Education at Hillsdale College.