Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator

with Dr. David Diener

Text CoverThis course provides an introduction to the foundational philosopher Plato and his thoughts on education. Plato’s philosophy of education has shaped the educational principles and practices of the Western world for over two millennia. In this course, Dr. David Diener guides educators through a discussion of Plato’s background and context, some of his key insights on curriculum and pedagogy, and his educational legacy, closing with the relevance and implications of Plato’s views for educators in the twenty-first century.

The course is based on the guidebook Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator by Dr. David Diener. We recommend purchasing the text for reference throughout the course.

This book is also available as an audiobook, available from Audible.com here.

This course follows the organizational theme of the book Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator by Dr. David Diener, as shown below. Corresponding readings from this text are listed within each lesson.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction, Biography of Plato, and Plato’s Historical Context
  • Lesson 2: Plato’s Educational Context
  • Lesson 3: Plato’s Understanding of the Nature and Purpose of Education
  • Lesson 4: Plato’s Model of Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Lesson 5: Plato’s Educational Legacy and the Relevance and Implications of Plato’s Thought for Twenty-First-Century Education
  • Lesson 6: Conclusion and Recommendations for Further Study

David DienerDr. David Diener has a BA in philosophy and ancient languages from Wheaton College and an MA in philosophy, an MS in history and philosophy of education, and a dual PhD in philosophy and philosophy of education from Indiana University. He is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, TX, and an adjunct philosophy professor at Taylor University. The Dieners have four children and enjoy working, playing, loving, and laughing together.

Please Note: ClassicalU is currently developing a certification to accompany our course offerings. The certification credit component of this course is now active but also undergoing refinement and testing.

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete the quiz that follows each presentation in the course, and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test and requires that you upload one short essay (of 600 to 750 words) demonstrating your understanding this course. When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will magically appear under the “My Courses” section of this website.

For this course the essay assignment is:

In 600 to 750 words, describe how Plato might respond to the purposes people often assign to education today.

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