520 – Order and Inspiration: An Introduction to Classical Pedagogy

Term: July 17 – August 14
Class Time: Mondays, 7-9 p.m. ET
Credit Hours: 1
Instructor: Martin Cothran

This five-week summer seminar course will offer an overview of teaching through the reading of classic texts on how best to teach and learn. Participants will be guided through a selection of readings covering the three modes of teaching, their origins in Aristotle’s rhetoric and their modern manifestation in Mortimer Adler’s “Three Columns,” which includes didactic teaching (lecture), coaching, and Socratic teaching. The student will also learn the best method of approach to the teaching of certain specific subjects such as the basic skills of reading, mathematics, and penmanship; classical languages; the trivium subjects of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; as well as the proper teaching of the humanities and the natural sciences. Participants will gain a basic knowledge of important pedagogical debates such as the content/process debate, the phonics/whole language debate, the competing strategies of reading instruction, and issues in the debate between traditional education and progressivism. Certain popular contemporary pedagogies will be critically analyzed as well as certain approaches to subjects such as “whole word” reading strategies and versions of the “new math” in mathematics instruction.

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