Puzzle, Proof, and Play: A Pedagogy of Wonder for Mathematics

Most math teachers love mathematics and one of their greatest desires is to nurture a similar love in their students. But more often than they might like, the structure of the mathematics curriculum seems opposed to the cultivation of this wonder in mathematics. This workshop will explore how teaching math through a pedagogy of puzzle, proof, and play can help recover this wonder and cultivate wisdom. In the Laws, Plato said that free-born boys should learn simple mathematical calculations adapted to their age, put into a form such as to give amusement and pleasure as well as instruction. As it turns out, a pedagogy of wonder for mathematics, in addition to being fun, is also eminently classical.

Ravi Jain

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 different nationalities. Phil is also the author of Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development for Students, Teachers and Parents (IVP Academic, 2013).

Benefits and Principles of Integrative Teaching

One of the fundamental insights of classical education is that knowledge is unified, and yet the way many of us teach treats subjects like history and literature as though they are distinct by separating them into two different classes. Whether you teach these classes separately or you teach Humanities in one “block,” it is possible to successfully integrate the content of the two disciplines if teachers are willing to collaborate on aligning them as closely as possible. This allows for students to gain a fuller understanding of the “story” of whichever time period you teach. In this workshop, we present the benefits of integrative teaching, offer practical advice on how to achieve alignment (drawn from our own experience working together), and conclude with some principles for successful collaboration across disciplines.

Christine Godwin

Christine Godwin has a degree in History and Classical Studies from Texas A&M University. After years of teaching in the public school system, she fell in love with the classical education model and for the last ve years she has been a Humanities instructor at Regents School of Austin, teaching Classical History, Medieval History, Rhetoric, and American History. In the summer of 2014, she served as a teacher in the inaugural SCL in Orvieto program.

Cultivating Well-Educated Resident Aliens

Over the past year the church has come under increasing attack by a culture that is aggressively rejecting God’s order to reality. These social challenges are clear indications that some of the basic Judeo-Christian beliefs that have guided our culture for centuries have almost completely been eroded. In this context, a classical liberal arts education becomes more crucial for our students and their families as we seek to prepare them to enter their future vocations with the wisdom to navigate the varied social environments that they will inhabit. This session will utilize the biblical book of Daniel as a framework for gaining insight on how our schools can wisely navigate the perilous waters that we must face in the near future.

George Sanker

George Sanker currently serves as Headmaster of The Covenant School in Charlottesville, VA. George has worked in education since 1996 and served as the principal of two charter schools in Washington, DC and Longmont, CO. He started his career in education working in private Christians schools where he was a history and theology teacher for middle and high school students. George graduated from Colgate University with a BA in political science. A er Colgate, he served his country as an officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. He also received a MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. George is currently ABD in sociology at the University of Virginia. He and his wife Jeanne e live in Charlottesville with five of their children—Nicholas (10), Jonas (9), and Lukas (6), Thomas (3), Magdalena (6 months). Their child, Kendrick (18), attends Hampton University in Hampton, VA

21st Century Classical

I will argue that education can be both genuinely and thoroughly Classical and at the same time prepare students to be leaders and innovators in the 21st century. I will argue that many of the 21st Century skills being enumerated by progressive educators are the same skills a Classical education is best equipped to offer. I will also maintain that so long as we maintain a Christian Classical commitment to truth, beauty and goodness, and ultimately to God, we should allow ourselves to employ 21st century pedagogical methods where appropriate. Students need the best training they can get to solve 21st century problems, but even more so they need the orientation of the soul towards the Good that Classical education provides.

Sean Riley

Sean A. Riley earned his Ph.D in philosophy from Baylor University in 2011. He chairs the history department, teaches AP European History and two philosophy courses, coaches football, tennis, and the Ethics Bowl team, and serves as a dorm dad at The Stony Brook School on Long Island. He has also led summer travel courses to Greece, Turkey, and China. Prior to teaching at The Stony Brook School, he taught courses at Baylor University, McLennan Community College, and Live Oak Classical School in Waco, Texas. Sean is the author of Recovering the Saints from Modern Moral Theory, available on Kindle. He lives in Stony Brook with his wife, Emily, and his four children, Aidan, Liam, Honora, and Quinn.

Charlotte Mason, Neuroscience and Personhood

Answering the question, What forms the human heart and mind? Bill St. Cyr, Ph.D., Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International, explores the insights of contemporary neuroscience and the ideas of British educator, Charlotte Mason.

Bill St. Cyr

The unifying concern of Bill St. Cyr’s academic and professional life has been the process by which men and women grow to a maturity that reflects the person of Jesus. He holds a BA in political philosophy from Louisiana State University, an MA in historical theology and spirituality from Catholic University of America, and an MS/PhD in pastoral counseling from Loyola University Maryland. Bill has served as a youth minister, led a discipleship ministry on Capitol Hill, served as assistant to the chaplain of the United States Senate. Since 2001, together with his wife, Maryellen, Bill has led Ambleside Schools International, a network of schools, parents, teachers, and administrators seeking a renewal in education, based upon the principles of Jesus and the pedagogical insights of British educator, Charlotte Mason.

Charlotte Mason, the Art of Student Formation and the Classroom

Answering the question, What is optimal pedagogy? Bill St. Cyr, Ph.D., Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International, explores the insights of contemporary neuroscience and the ideas of British educator, Charlotte Mason.

Bill St. Cyr

The unifying concern of Bill St. Cyr’s academic and professional life has been the process by which men and women grow to a maturity that re ects the person of Jesus. He holds a BA in political philosophy from Louisiana State University, an MA in historical theology and spirituality from Catholic University of America, and an MS/PhD in pastoral counseling from Loyola University Maryland. Bill has served as a youth minister, led a discipleship ministry on Capitol Hill, served as assistant to the chaplain of the United States Senate. Since 2001, together with his wife, Maryellen, Bill has led Ambleside Schools International, a network of schools, parents, teachers, and administrators seeking a renewal in education, based upon the principles of Jesus and the pedagogical insights of British educator, Charlotte Mason.

A Hierarchy of Instruction for Forming the Affections

As classical educators, we want to do more than produce articulate and informed graduates prepared to join the workforce. We also want to form the affections of our students which may seem to be a less objective task. How can we ensure purposeful and coordinated planning to support this second and more important goal? In this seminar, we will explore a systematic approach for doing so.

Stephanie Knudsen

Stephanie M. Knudsen has spent the last eight of her 20 years in education teaching rst grade at Trinity Academy of Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has taught in Japan, North Carolina, and Virginia. Her life outside of school includes her being a farmer, lover of the great outdoors, and a reader of books.

Training Students in Discussion

To ancient and medieval educators, teaching was inspired conversation: communion of mind and heart through skillful discussions, with young children as well as highschoolers. Much like the art of painting or sculpture, these discussions required a host of skills which were taught and practiced routinely over the course of years. Today, most classical schools expect upper school students to participate in intense discussions about complicated ideas. But just as we only ask students to pen their senior theses after years of cultivating their writing skills and love of language arts, we need to foster a similar delight and skill in discussion starting with conversation-centered pedagogy in our grammar schools. This workshop will share the tools our school is developing to hone the skills of excellent discussions and build conversation- centered classrooms. Come with ideas, questions, observations, and best practices of your own to share as well.

Jenny Rallens

After homeschooling through highschool, Jenny Rallens earned her B.A. in 2008 from New St. Andrews College and then joined The Ambrose School faculty in Boise, Idaho to teach, direct nine (mostly Shakespeare) plays, and develop a pedagogy based on four pillars: incarnational student-teacher relationships, story, socratic discussion, and liturgy. In addition to teaching, Jenny is currently working on her master’s degree at Oxford in Literature and Arts, particularly investigating the roles literature, liturgy and material culture play in forming a community’s theological imagination.

Low Tech, High Touch Science

Science needs to be a hands on subject. That means that students need materials to touch and investigate. Come and explore the materials I use in the classroom. In this workshop, we will review how to acquire a collection of items for exploration, how to get students outdoors and engaged with nature, and where to find free support to expand your repertoire in the life sciences.

Stephanie Knudsen

Stephanie M. Knudsen has spent the last eight of her 20 years in education teaching rst grade at Trinity Academy of Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has taught in Japan, North Carolina, and Virginia. Her life outside of school includes her being a farmer, lover of the great outdoors, and a reader of books.

Memory Work

A recent Google query for “how to memorize” turned up 2,380,000 matches. This is amazing and telling when the current view among progressive educators and our culture at large is that memorization is merely “drill-and-kill.” Without any real learning and that information can be easily accessed through available technology that memorization is unnecessary. At Trinity Academy of Raleigh, the view is different. memorization is a curricular area. Our community developed a curriculum guide that establishes purposeful expectations, prevents redundancies, and establishes clear expectations for student learning. Come see how one school developed a memory curriculum, established instructional methods, and created rubrics for assessing student progress in that area.

Stephanie Knudsen

Stephanie M. Knudsen has spent the last eight of her 20 years in education teaching rst grade at Trinity Academy of Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has taught in Japan, North Carolina, and Virginia. Her life outside of school includes her being a farmer, lover of the great outdoors, and a reader of books.