At STCS students read the great books of western civilization. These great books are discussed in Socratic seminars where students collaboratively engage texts under the gentle guidance of a wise literature instructor. We want students to acquire a love affair with books and we think that Socratic seminars are essential to connecting young learners to that “great conversation” which has engaged educated people for centuries.
But in addition to round table seminar discussions, students are asked to write many literature based papers. Most of their middle school writing, in fact, emerges from the great books our students read as part of their curriculum. At the end of every writing exercise, students are asked to present and defend their papers to their peers in a symposium format.
In short, we think that the best way to develop one’s best thinking is to only read the best. Winston Churchill is recalled to have said: “I am a man of simple tastes easily satisfied with the best.”