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Teaching the Great Books

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  1. Introduction
    Teaching the Great Books: Course Introduction (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  2. Lessons
    Lesson 1: What Should We Read? (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  3. Lesson 2: How Should We Read the Classics?
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  4. Lesson 3: How to Do Deep Reading
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  5. Lesson 4: Ancient and Modern Modes of Interpretation
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  6. Lesson 5: How to Teach Great Books—Part I
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  7. Lesson 6: How to Teach Great Books—Part II
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  8. Lesson 7: Classroom Habits and Practices
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  9. Lesson 8: Who Do We Teach?
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  10. Lesson 9: Students Afflicted with Acedia or Ennui
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  11. Lesson 10: Helping Students Overcome Acedia or Ennui
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  12. Lesson 11: Who Is the Teacher?
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  13. Class Observations
    Lesson 12: Observe 7th Grade Classroom (with preclass interview)
    1 Topic
    |
    1 Quiz
  14. Lesson 13: Observe 10th Grade Classroom (with pre- and post-class interviews)
    1 Topic
  15. Lesson 14: Observe 10th Grade Classroom (with pre- and post-class interviews)
    1 Topic
  16. Lesson 15: Observe 10th Grade Classroom (with pre- and post-class interviews)
    1 Topic
    |
    1 Quiz
  17. End of Course Test
    End of Course Test: Teaching the Great Books
    1 Quiz
Lesson 4, Topic 4
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The Power of “Why?” and “What If?”

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An article that appeared in the New York Times titled “The Power of ‘Why?’ and ‘What If?’” describes the way that people are going into the workplace not knowing how to be inquisitive or ask good questions to learn. This has harmed them. The author Warren Berger writes, “One might assume that people can easily ask…questions, given that children do it so well. But research shows that question-asking peaks at age 4 or 5 and then steadily drops off, as children pass through school (where answers are often more valued than questions) and mature into adults. By the time we’re in the workplace, many of us have gotten out of the habit of asking fundamental questions…” The “Plunder the Egyptians Method” that is often encouraged in schools teaches students to look for clever answers instead of seeking to learn by listening and asking questions. Without the ability to ask good questions and listen, people struggle to be successful in situations that are not rigidly determined. It is virtually impossible to learn or reason without the ability to question.

15th century illuminationBoethius seeks the wings that will allow his mind to fly aloft from Lady Philosophy