Saving the Appearances: Lessons from Owen Barfield

Owen Barfield was one of the Inklings—the group of friends and writers surrounding C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In this workshop, we look at the main themes of Barfield’s 1957 book Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry.

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What Are Science Labs For? Laboratory Work as Apprenticeship

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.

John Mays

After receiving his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, John spent 14 years working in engineering before acquiring a master's degree in education from the University of Houston. Shortly aft er joining the faculty at Regents School of Austin, John completed his master's degree in liberal arts at St. Edward's University. John served as the Chair of the Math-Science Department until 2009, when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab. He founded Novare Science & Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous science texts and teacher resources. Now working full-time as a writer, publisher and consultant, John continues to teach students part-time at Regents.

Slaying the Cram-Pass-Forget Dragon

The norm for classes in contemporary schools is the Cram–Pass–Forget cycle. Students cram for tests, pass them, and then forget most of what they crammed in just a few weeks. Instead of cramming and forgetting, students should learn, master, and retain what they have learned. This workshop presents an overview of a tested and proven mastery-oriented approach to instruction. Examples will focus on science and math instruction, but the same principles can be applied in any subject.

John Mays

After receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, John D. Mays spent 14 years in industry. Vocationally drawn toward the field of education, John acquired an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. He also completed an MLA at St. Edward’s University in 2003. John joined Regents School of Austin in 1999 and served as the Math-Science Department Chair from 2001 until 2009. At that time he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents, where he continues to teach part-time. He founded Novare Science & Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous student science texts and teacher resources.

Wonder Leads to Worship

Constant saturation with technology can produce students who are jaded and apathetic. However, humans bearing the divine image are designed to contemplate the wonders produced by the divine hand and worship the creator in response. In this workshop, we will examine the role of wonder at creation in the process of discipleship. We will also explore a number of practical teaching methods and resources that science teachers can use to lead their students toward worship of our creator through contemplation of his amazing works.

John Mays

John holds a BS in Electrical Engineering, an MEd in Secondary Education, and a master’s of Liberal Arts. He served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001–2009, then became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science & Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous student science texts and teacher resources. Now working full time as a writer, publisher, and consultant, John continues to teach part time at the Laser Optics Lab at Regents.

The Heavens Declare the Glory

Christians have always affirmed this testimony from Psalm 19. But the breadth of the revelation of God’s glory in nature is far wider than we often appreciate. In this seminar we will examine a wide variety of ways in which the heavens declare God’s glory to us, including anthropic implications in contemporary science that have been responsible for driving some notable atheists to faith. We will also examine the implications of our role as God’s image bearers on the question of God’s revelation in the book of His Works—Nature.

John Mays

After receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, John D. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management in the areas of electrical, controls and telecommunications systems. Vocationally drawn toward the eld of education, John acquired an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. Shortly a er joining the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999, John began work on an MLA at St. Edward’s University, which he completed in 2003. John served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous student science texts and teacher resources. Now working full time as writer, publisher and consultant, John continues to teach students part time at the Laser Optics Lab at Regents.

Other Voices: Gerald Manley Hopkins

In classical and Christian schools we seek rigorous academics and a robust Christian worldview, but these are not the only necessary ingredients for instruction that ennobles the mind and educates the whole person. In any discipline, there are “other voices” that speak to our hearts and minds. In this workshop we will explore ways that poetry, literature, art, music, and rambles in the wilderness can add layers of depth to our classroom discussions about science.

John Mays

After receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, John D. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management in the areas of electrical, controls and telecommunications systems. Vocationally drawn toward the field of education, John acquired an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. Shortly a er joining the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999, John began work on an MLA at St. Edward’s University, which he completed in 2003. John served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous student science texts and teacher resources. Now working full time as writer, publisher and consultant, John continues to teach students part time at the Laser Optics Lab at Regents.

Science: Discovery and Discipleship

The history of science is a history of discovery, but the historical role of discovery is now threatened by the limited exposure to nature that is now common among young people. In this seminar, we will examine ways teachers can reinvigorate the study of science in the midst of a culture that has lost a sense of the relationships between nature, quietness, meditation, observation, and discipleship. We will also examine the challenging implications of God’s benediction on nature and the example of Christ on the question of our own growth as Christ’s disciples.

John Mays

After receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, John D. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management in the areas of electrical, controls and telecommunications systems. Vocationally drawn toward the field of education, John acquired an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. Shortly a er joining the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999, John began work on an MLA at St. Edward’s University, which he completed in 2003. John served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous student science texts and teacher resources. Now working full time as writer, publisher and consultant, John continues to teach students part time at the Laser Optics Lab at Regents.

Making Elbow Room for Faith in the Science Classroom

How should faith statements be balanced with scientific statements in science classes? In this workshop we will develop four classes of observable phenomena. We will note that while the Creator is involved with his creation at all levels, our ability to formulate a natural explanation for a given phenomenon depends on which class it is in. In Class 1, scientific explanations are readily available. In Class 4, they are not, and only Christian faith can provide an explanation. In this way we will demonstrate that bringing faith into scientific discourse does not always entail a “God of the gaps” argument.

John Mays

John D. Mays has logged 16 years teaching in high schools and colleges in a teaching career that dates back to 1985. A er receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Mr. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management. Vocationally drawn toward education, Mr. Mays completed an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. He joined the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999 and completed an MLA at St. Edward’s University in 2003. Mr. Mays served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of The Student Lab Report Handbook (2009), Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science (2010), and Accelerated Studies in Physics and Chemistry: A Mastery-Oriented Introductory Curriculum (2012). He continues to teach physics and mathematics at Regents School of Austin and to develop the Laser Optics Lab there.

Course Sequencing for Upper School Science

There are significant benefits to building an upper school science sequence around an introductory physics course in 9th grade. On the other hand, there are serious weaknesses and missed opportunities associated with the common practice of placing all students in biology in 9th grade. In this seminar we will explore the physics- first sequence in detail for both science and mathematics from 6th grade through 12th grade.

John Mays

John D. Mays has logged 16 years teaching in high schools and colleges in a teaching career that dates back to 1985. A er receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Mr. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management. Vocationally drawn toward education, Mr. Mays completed an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. He joined the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999 and completed an MLA at St. Edward’s University in 2003. Mr. Mays served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of The Student Lab Report Handbook (2009), Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science (2010), and Accelerated Studies in Physics and Chemistry: A Mastery-Oriented Introductory Curriculum (2012). He continues to teach physics and mathematics at Regents School of Austin and to develop the Laser Optics Lab there.

Slaying the “Cram, Test, Forget” Dragon

There are significant benefits to building an upper school science sequence around an introductory physics course in 9th grade. On the other hand, there are serious weaknesses and missed opportunities associated with the common practice of placing all students in biology in 9th grade. In this seminar we will explore the physics- first sequence in detail for both science and mathematics from 6th grade through 12th grade.

John Mays

John D. Mays has logged 16 years teaching in high schools and colleges in a teaching career that dates back to 1985. After receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Mr. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management. Vocationally drawn toward education, Mr. Mays completed an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. He joined the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999 and completed an MLA at St. Edward’s University in 2003. Mr. Mays served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of The Student Lab Report Handbook (2009), Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science (2010), and Accelerated Studies in Physics and Chemistry: A Mastery-Oriented Introductory Curriculum (2012). He continues to teach physics and mathematics at Regents School of Austin and to develop the Laser Optics Lab there.