Art appreciation is a necessary and joyful component of a Classical Education. To this end, Memoria Press has created publications on art for both younger and older students. Among these are three series of “Art Cards” designed for use in grades Kindergarten through Second, as well as other pedagogical titles. 

Still, how does one implement such materials? What should the students be gleaning and at what ages? What approaches aid a teacher in transmitting the content and significance of artistic masterpieces and their influence in Western culture?  Most importantly, what helps to develop an understanding and love of art in a child? 

In this five-week course, Professor Carol Reynolds will take participants through these materials, focusing particularly on the Art Cards. She will make broad sweeps through Western art history and suggest a multiplicity of specific approaches to help bring art to life. 

On tour of Gatsby's splendid mansion, Daisy weeps amid a pile of colorful shirts, flung at her by her exultant lover. Why does she weep? "They're such beautiful shirts," she sobs, but this is hardly an explanation. Until a reader can explain how each part of a work contributes to the whole, he cannot claim to fully understand the work. Motivated by this standard, and in defense of it, this study of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will define the object and the means of teaching literature, as it depends on the teacher's comprehension of the substance of a text. 

We learn how to teach when stories teach us how to learn. Through earnest discussion of the form and content of select short fiction and poetry, this course will uncover how authors speak by means of imagery, what special meaning literature conveys, and why the exercise of imagination forms a necessary part of a liberal education, with the goal of sharpening our sense of purpose when we read. 

Joseph Pearce, author of three books on Shakespeare and writer and presenter of two 13-part television series on Shakespeare's life and work, offers a guided tour of six of Shakespeare's best-loved plays: As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Macbeth. Students will be shown how to read and understand the plays in the light of the life and times of Shakespeare himself, enabling them to see the plays as Shakespeare and his audience would have seen them. Such a reading also reveals those timeless truths of timely relevance which make his plays as relevant today as they have always been. All six of these plays treated here are a part of Memoria Press' Classical Core Curriculum. 

This is a course specifically designed for those teaching classical mythology and classic literature like Homer, Vergil, and Dante in order to give them the resources to understand the subject and its relevance for the modern student. In addition to readings from D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths and Edith Hamilton, we will read C.S. Lewis and Tolkien on the nature of myth along with some primary source material that is excerpted in Morford and Lenardon’s Classical Mythology. We will also discuss ways to introduce students of all ages to the influence of classical mythology on art, music, and culture. 

What does it mean for a man to be free? How does a man use his freedom well? These questions address the heart of the classical distinction between the liberal arts (Latin liber = free) and the servile or mechanical arts. A “liberal” education refers to the steps that lead away (e-ducere = to lead out) from the default, easy, servile starting point of our unrefined nature (erudition = being shaped and refined, i.e. not being rudus or “unformed”) to the full life befitting a free man. In this ten-week course, we will explore the tradition of liberal learning from Plato to Karl Marx, examining these questions from all sides. We will ask what it means to be truly educated, what education is for, and what kind of freedom is desirable for man. Hopefully, this will lay a foundation for your other courses at Memoria College as you establish a basic understanding of what all these classes are about. 

In this short course we will learn some of the practical studying and writing skills that will help you to get the most out of your courses with Memoria College.  We will discuss methods of reading, taking notes, and annotating great texts.  We will practice strategies for fruitful conversations both in class and in our online discussion forums.  Most importantly, however, we will reflect on the kinds of mindset and character that produce a flourishing intellectual life.

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. 

A five-week summer seminar course designed to assist students in addressing the question "What is classical education?" In answering this question, we will discuss what education itself consists of, how classical education differs from other, modern definitions of education, how classical education fits in to the history of education, and the relationship of classical education to religious belief. We will address questions that are often asked about classical education such as:

    • Is Dorothy Sayers definition of education an adequate one?
    • Should Christians read the pagan classics?
    • How essential is the study of classical languages like Latin and Greek to a true classical education?
    • Is classical education relevant in the age of STEM? 
    • Does classical education assume a particular world view, and, if so, what is it?
    • What are the arguments against classical education and how are they best answered?