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In this course, Joshua Gibbs, upper-school humanities educator at the Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, shares what he has learned over the course of 10 years about teaching the Great Books to upper-school students. He considers not only the character of teenage students and the challenges they face (such as acedia), but also the disposition appropriate to the teacher. Josh also addresses practical pedagogical issues: how to teach, how to read, how to create meaningful assignments and tests, how to manage parents, and how to create rhythms and traditions throughout the year that blend regularity and rhythm with the unexpected and surprise. This course also features several discussions between Josh and Dr. Christopher Perrin that will prompt further thought and discussion among those taking the course.
This course follows the organizational scheme below:

  • Introduction
  • Lesson 1: What Should We Read?
  • Lesson 2: How Should We Read the Classics?
  • Lesson 3: How to Do Deep Reading
  • Lesson 4: Ancient and Modern Modes of Interpretation
  • Lesson 5: How to Teach Great Books Part I
  • Lesson 6: How to Teach Great Books Part II
  • Lesson 7: Classroom Habits and Practices
  • Lesson 8: Who Do We Teach?
  • Lesson 9: Students Afflicted with Acedia or Ennui
  • Lesson 10: Helping Students Overcome Acedia or Ennui
  • Lesson 11: Who Is the Teacher?
  • Lesson 12: Observe Mr. Gibbs’s 7th Grade Classroom Day 1 (with preclass interview)
  • Lesson 13: Observe Mr. Gibbs’s 10th Grade Classroom Day 1 (with pre- and postclass interviews)
  • Lesson 14: Observe Mr. Gibbs’s 10th Grade Classroom Day 2 (with pre- and postclass interviews)
  • Lesson 15: Observe Mr. Gibbs’s 10th Grade Classroom Day 3 (with pre- and postclass interviews)

Joshua Gibbs is a humanities and literature teacher at the Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. Josh has been teaching the Great Books for some 10 years and is an associate fellow with the Alcuin Fellowship, a coterie of classical educators who are committed to the renewal of classical Christian education. He is also a frequent speaker at classical education conferences. Josh lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters, both of whom have seven names. Josh is also the author of the book How to Be Unlucky: Reflections on the Pursuit of Virtue, published by our friends at the Circe Institute. Please also see Joshua’s author and consulting page here.

 

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete each presentation lesson or discussion in the course (by marking it complete or by taking the quiz) 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 or more essays demonstrating your understanding of the course. (Please note that essays are simply evaluated by word count.) When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will become available within “My Courses” (accessible under “Courses” in the main menu when you are signed in as an active subscriber).

We recommend previewing the essay question within the end of course test before starting the course. This will help in guiding your note taking as you progress through the course. Please allow approximately 2 weeks for essay submissions to be reviewed.

By taking the course for certification credit, you also will be on your way to obtaining a Level 1 certification.

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