For Teachers & Leadership

The following sessions are offered by the University of Dallas K-12 Curriculum and Professional Development Team. Regardless of the model of your school, we can adapt any session and customize it to the needs of your faculty or homeschool community.

Recommended for K-12 Teachers

The Spirit of Catholic Classical Education
An overview of the key features and spirit of a Catholic and classical liberal arts education, focusing on the foundations and purpose of education: the flourishing of a culture and how that culture is “handed on” to future generations, the harmonious formation of the whole person in moral and intellectual virtue, the importance of content-rich curriculum (characterized by truth, goodness, and beauty rooted in unity), and instruction that is founded upon a Christian anthropology. This approach forms students to know and read well, think deeply, and communicate eloquently.  With this vision of a classical liberal arts education, teachers are better formed to guide students towards a love for learning and a learning that liberates the person to live a life of authentic freedom, a freedom to follow God’s call and live in accord with the truths of human nature and the created order.

The Spirit of Classical Education
An overview of the key features and spirit of a classical education, focusing on the foundations and purpose of education: paideia and the flourishing of culture, how that culture is “handed on” to future generations, the formation of the whole person in moral and intellectual virtue, the importance of content-rich curriculum (characterized by truth, goodness, and beauty rooted in unity), and instruction that is founded upon a sound anthropology so that the student is formed to know and read well, think deeply, and communicate eloquently.  With this vision of a classical liberal arts education, teachers are better formed to guide students towards a love for learning and a learning that liberates the person to live a life of authentic freedom and responsible citizenship.

The Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools
During his years as Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education Archbishop J. Michael Miller provided a way to think about and evaluate what it means to be a Catholic school according to the teachings of the Church. “The Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools” lays out the key features (“marks”) that characterize an authentically Catholic school: “a Catholic school should be inspired by a supernatural vision, founded on Christian anthropology, animated by communion and community, imbued with a Catholic worldview throughout its curriculum, and sustained by gospel witness.” In this session, teachers will learn about each of the Five Marks, how they can be incorporated as benchmarks, and discuss practical examples of how each of the Five Marks can be present and developed in a school. While designed for teachers, staff, and school leaders, this session can also be formative for school boards and advisory councils in a retreat-like setting as well as for parents.

The Teacher
What does it mean to teach? How do students truly learn? Do teachers pass on information or guide students to discover the truth? Or some aspect of both? What agents are involved in the art of teaching? In this session, we will explore key approaches in the classical tradition to the art of teaching, discuss how humans naturally acquire knowledge and what motivates us to desire more knowledge, and then close with a practical application to our own areas of teaching.

Introduction to Narration
Teachers will experience the classical art of narration, a practice of learning through retelling.  In The Institute Oratoria, Quintilian asserts that narration is arguably “the most important department of rhetoric in actual practice.” This ancient and proven pedagogy fosters deep concentration and develops habits of attention, memory, and rhetoric appropriate to all subjects and grade levels. Teachers will practice this classical art in multiple forms during the workshop. 

Narration Praxis
This session begins with a review of the elements of narration. Additional ways to include narration in the classroom are presented, as well as troubleshooting tips for the classroom. By growing in the art of narration, students’ habits of attention, memory, and rhetoric will continue to deepen.

Written Narration and Teacher Practice
This session begins with a review of the elements of narration and then presents how to develop students towards written narration. Additional ways to include narration in the classroom are presented as well as troubleshooting tips for the classroom. By growing in the art of narration, students’ habits of attention, memory, and rhetoric will continue to deepen.

The Wonder of Picture Study: Integrating Art across the Curriculum
Picture study awakens wonder, develops observation skills, and prepares students for a lesson in any subject or grade level. Teachers will  learn how to select art, how to discuss and narrate a picture, and how to cultivate students’ habits of attention and memory. In addition, they will learn to compose beautiful questions that engage students and promote fruitful discussion in the classroom.

Introduction to Nature Study
Teachers will learn how to lead a nature study, the reasons for making this a priority in a school’s life, its cross-curricular connections, and will experience for themselves the wonder and peace of learning how to observe and study nature. Learn how to start a nature journal and motivate students to wonder about the natural world. This is ideal for teachers and students who are afraid of art and do not feel confident in starting nature journals.

Beauty: Cultivating an Atmosphere for Learning
This session will explore the meaning of beauty and then present practical ways to incorporate beauty in the classroom and throughout a school. Discover current research that supports classical liberal arts philosophies for establishing an atmosphere which supports the habits that improve classroom management and optimal cognitive function for both the teacher and the students.

Introduction to the Great Conversation and Seminar Discussion
Teachers will develop their art for conversation and learn ways to enhance classroom discussion. The theory and practice of seminars will be introduced as teachers learn about the Great Conversation throughout history and engage this tradition in seminar discussion. A good seminar leader is one who knows how to read well, recognize important passages, and ask questions that provoke deeper thought. This session concludes with a discussion on the place of the poetic mode in a child’s formation and how this applies to class discussions across all grade levels.

Establishing the Foundation for Conversation
The Socratic conversation is regarded as one of the signature pedagogical methods for classical education. But learning how to have good conversation is a process, and most students are not immediately ready to sustain a productive and constructive discussion. In this session, we will discuss ways to establish a good foundation with students so that conversations are more productive and effective. Some of the fundamental questions we will cover include: How is a discussion-based or conversation-based class different from a lecture or Q&A course? Is a Socratic conversation always the right choice? What kinds of skills do students need for a good discussion? How can teachers teach students to have productive conversations while minimizing distraction? What is the role for the teacher in guiding discussion? How do you evaluate student participation and mastery of material?
(2-4 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Teaching Close Reading
One of the fundamental skills necessary for Socratic conversation is reading well. In this session, we will consider the various processes involved in close reading, and discuss practical ways that teachers can help their students develop this skill. Other questions we will consider in this session are: Is annotation necessary for close reading? How can the teacher help students navigate complex texts? How will encouraging close reading also benefit student writing?
(2-4 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Seminar Discussion in Small Groups
Teachers will learn how to develop meaningful lessons through experiencing a seminar discussion on a text different in style from day one. The theory and practice of seminars will be introduced as teachers engage in seminar discussion and reflect upon the art of asking good questions. (This session follows Introduction to the Great Conversation and Seminar Discussion on multi-day PD sessions.)

The Art of Asking Questions: How To Exercise Maieutic Questioning Skills
In this session, teachers will learn the art of asking questions through reflecting upon the purpose and aim of questions, understanding the importance of the poetic mode (prior to any analysis), and learning different styles of questions. Maieutic (open-ended) questions are an engaging way to awaken wonder in students, to segue from one part of a lesson to the next, to make connections with other lessons, and work across the curriculum. Teachers will engage in a role-play lesson and learn to rewrite poorly written questions into maieutic questions. Ideal for all teachers of all grade levels and subjects.

Poetry & Recitation
Experience the joy of reading, reciting, and contemplating poems. Teachers will learn about the classical practice of recitation and participate in poetic conversations to open lessons in different subject areas. Throughout, teachers will experience instructional strategies that cultivate the art of memorizing and reciting poetry.

Teachers will learn the theory behind the classical practice of recitation and experience instructional strategies that cultivate the skill of recitation in students.

Discover the importance and joy of integrating music into classroom instruction. Plato’s “music,” which was foundational to the education of youth in classical times, refers to the Muses (Μοῦσαι) who governed the arts of literature, poetry, song, and dance. Teachers will experience how music complements a lesson’s main content, keeps students engaged, provides a transition from one part of a lesson to another, and provides an experience of beauty in a lesson.

Integrating Music and Art throughout the Curriculum
Discover the importance and joy of integrating music and art into classroom instruction. Plato’s “music” refers to the Muses (Μοῦσαι) who governed the arts of literature, poetry, song, and dance. “Music” to the Greeks included not just singing and instrumental playing, but also theater, dance, poetry, sculpture, drawing and painting, astronomy, and exposure to great literature. Teachers will experience how music and art complements a lesson’s main content, keeps students engaged, provides a transition from one part of a lesson to another, and provides an experience of beauty in a lesson.

Become acquainted with the classical art of notebooking, a practice that can be applied to all subjects and all ages. When children notebook, they develop something tangible to demonstrate their knowledge, retain information longer because they have “created” something of substance, gain valuable research skills, and use creativity to document their learning.

Copywork & Notebooking
Teachers will be introduced to the ancient art of copywork, which is far more important than—and not to be confused with—mere busywork. They will experience careful writing and mental pondering as they do a bit of their own copywork. They will learn the why, the how, and the when of assigning copywork to students. Ties to grammar and spelling are discussed, as well as the connections to memory. Next they will be introduced to the ancient and marvelous art of keeping notebooks, including a brief history of notebooking, as well as a variety of concrete ways to use it in the classroom and in personal life. This workshop is appropriate for every possible subject being taught.

Creating a Book of Centuries
Teaching students to create beautiful timelines that they can keep forever builds historical memory. In this session, you will receive direct instruction, and create a lovely book of centuries. Use your book to model for students a template and standard for creating timeline books that they will treasure forever. This establishes good habits in penmanship and strengthens the memory. (Grades 2-8; 2 hours)

Bellringers, Copywork, Dictation
Teachers will learn the sense of these methods and experience instructional strategies. There is much modern research to support these ancient practices in student achievement. Discover why these practices are the foundation of good writing skills and how they can cultivate positive habits in the classroom.

Why Read Stories, Fairy Tales, and Myths?
Learn why imaginative stories are a crucial necessity for a liberal education. See how fairy tales and myths develop the young person’s imagination, moral sense, and ultimately faith. Read excerpts and stories, share in conversation, and experience a session steeped in fairy tales, myths, and legends.

Cultivating the Moral Imagination through Classic Children’s Literature
In this session we will explore the concept of the “moral imagination” as presented by Vigen Guroian (Tending the Heart of Virtue) and others, focusing on the idea that the moral imagination is best nurtured by allowing students to experience characters’ moral choices in stories rather than by directly drawing out moral lessons for them to learn. Stories to be discussed might include various fairy tales, Pinocchio, The Secret Garden, and others.

Beautiful Pictures for Beautiful Words: Teaching Literature with Art
Teachers will experience how to use illustrations of classic children’s literature to increase students’ understanding of and involvement with the texts and to nurture their imaginations. Using various illustrators’ versions of the same or similar scenes not only cultivates the habit of attention, but also focuses students’ attention on how exactly the images relate to the words. Teachers will learn to help students see, for example, which aspect of the text the illustrations emphasize. Using illustrations (from Latin: to illuminate, explain, make clear) is also a vital strategy for helping ESL and special education students read literary classics with joy and comprehension and for improving their narrations. 


C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia: Education and the Moral Imagination.
A study of C.S. Lewis’s beloved Chronicles of Narnia with a particular focus on its attention to the importance of the imagination and the purpose, promise, and perils of education. We will read the whole series, but will look in depth at The Magician’s Nephew, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Last Battle. (12-15 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Teaching the Short Story
This course would explore the unique challenges and delights of reading and studying short fiction. Short stories are an excellent way for students to investigate the workings of character, plot, and theme. The short story also teaches students the beauty of the concise and economical expression of ideas, figurative language, and world-building. A wide range of short stories covering multiple genres will be read in this course. (12-15 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

“To Teach and Delight”: Teaching Children’s Literature
A blend of higher level story theory mixed with pedagogy/methodology, this session would equip teachers to help younger students understand the structural and formal elements of a story, and we would also discuss how to maintain a delight in the play of story as we seek to understand its deeper meaning. (12-15 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

An Introduction to Aristotle’s Poetics
Aristotle’s Poetics offers the fundamental “rulebook” for dramatic storytelling. By understanding Aristotle’s principles, teachers will be better able to help their students understand how and why stories work the way they do and to equip them with the vocabulary to discuss the structural framework of literature, from novels and short stories to plays and even films. (2-4 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

The Hero’s Journey
This session will help teachers better understand the story structure of the hero’s journey and how it can be used to help students analyze literary works, or to create their own. We will discuss the journey structure, character archetypes, and transformation arcs. This is another toolkit which teachers can use to equip their students with the vocabulary to talk about story on all its levels, from structure to theme. A great companion session to the Poetics. (2-4 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Homer and the Life Worth Living
In this session, teachers will learn how to approach behemoth, tradition-launching poems like the Iliad and the Odyssey. We will discuss genre, the concept of a proem, structure (including key books), and characterization. The purpose of the session will be to help Socratic-seminar teachers find access points to leading discussion on one or the other of the Homeric poems. For grades 6-12. (2-8 hours with Dr. Kathryn Davis)

Dante: Where To Begin?
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to launch a unit on a “world-historic poem” like the Divine Comedy.  In this session, teachers will learn strategies for getting started: how to approach Inferno 1; how to pace reading and discussion of each canticle; and how to do justice to a poem which refers to itself as “the book of the universe” in the very limited time allotted for its perusal. We’ll discuss structure, key cantos, and why it’s never a good idea to stop with Inferno 34.  For grades 9-12. (2-8 hours with Dr. Kathryn Davis)

Guide students through reading and even performing the work of the greatest English playwright with confidence. This session provides direct instruction in both understanding and teaching Shakespeare as well as how to cultivate a love for the Bard in students from 4th grade to high school.

Narrative and Dialogue in Jane Austen’s Novels
Why bother studying a genre as easy to access and understand as the novel?  Do novels really belong in classical curricula? Those of us who rise in indignation at these outrageous questions ought to have ready answers in defense of our position.  In this session, teachers will learn strategies for helping students to understand what – philosophically, ethically, politically – Jane Austen wants us to see or understand, and how she employs her art (structure, narrative, style) to accomplish her novelistic ends.  We will discuss the importance of outlining to discern structure and design; we will identify and grasp the significance of colored narrative and free indirect discourse (referencing Hough’s “Narrative and Dialogue”); and we will consider the effects of Austen’s choices in diction and sentence structure.  Novels on the menu for discussion include, but are not limited to, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. For grades 9-12. (2-8 hours with Dr. Kathryn Davis)

Teaching Classical Literature with State Standards
This is a very hands-on class. Literature lessons will be divided into genre-specific categories and spiral categories. Teachers will be instructed how to create classical lessons with a classical instructional framework in complete alignment to state standards. Better yet, we will show how to meet and exceed state standards. (1 hour)

Cultivating Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
In this session, we discuss foundations of classical education and explore how truth, goodness, and beauty (as well as unity) are integral to the formation that Catholic and classical educators pursue. What do we mean by these terms? Why do they matter for education? Are they found across the curriculum? How do they direct one to become, in Plato’s words, “the friend of God”? In “Cultivating Truth, Goodness, and Beauty,” we will address these questions and highlight how schools, students, and families benefit when an education is united and rooted in the True, Good, and Beautiful.

Body, Mind, Soul: Development of the Child in PreK-2nd Grade
We will dive deeply into the development of the child from ages 3-8 in mind, body and soul.  Enormous growth and development occurs during these years! Teachers will leave with an in-depth understanding of where the children in their classroom are now, where they have been and where they are headed. Knowledge of the full scope of development gives instructors a keen understanding of learning, social and emotional skills.

Providing for Special Needs and Learning Differences in PreK-3rd
Teachers will be given practical skills to reach children with varying degrees of developmental and learning needs. We will explore how words, body language, and listening are the greatest assets when helping children who are struggling. Understanding of learning and developmental milestones will be presented in conjunction with delays or difficulties. Teachers will leave with tools that can alleviate stress for both child and adult!

Learning through Movement
Help students learn durably through bodily movement, a practice informed by the gymnastic of the classical tradition and an anthropology of the integrated human person. Bring the classroom alive with movement as a learning aid or as a brain boost and develop lessons that will not be forgotten.

The Use of Movement and Drama in Teaching
Introducing principles of theater to the teaching of complex topics can help students break down the processes and make the invisible visible. Physical movement engages the senses and adds levity to the classroom. In the first part of the session, I will describe the physiological processes behind learning and memory. I will discuss how multimodal sensory experiences can enhance memory recall. Then, I will demonstrate the use of theater in the teaching of the contraction of skeletal muscles. Teachers will participate as I lead them through a series of movements that represent microscopic anatomical parts. In the second part of the session, we will break into small groups to identify topics and workshop ideas for adding movement and drama to the teachers’ areas of interest. We will end the session with a discussion of teachers’ ideas for incorporating drama into their teaching. (With Dr. Sunny Scobell)

Assessment and Grading
What is the purpose of education? What is the difference between grades and assessments? How does a teacher “grade” work in a classical liberal arts classroom? Teachers will explore how to assess student learning and mastery of content beyond conventional worksheets, written quizzes, and tests.  Consideration will be given to objective and subjective, as well as formative and summative, assessments. Several alternative methods of obtaining valuable data for the teacher and for school records will be shared. Teachers will learn how to modify and improve existing assessment tools, design more valid and engaging assessments, and build their own rubrics.

Designing Classical Lessons
This is an interactive session that begins with an experience of a classical lesson. Teachers are then led to reflect upon what makes it classical. This session focuses on the importance of awakening wonder at the beginning of lessons and on understanding the trivium as modes of learning (or moments of learning) and ways through which teachers can help form virtues in students. Teachers then work in teams to design their own lessons and receive coaching and feedback from the UD presenter.

Integrative Instruction Model
Discover a classical feature to teaching by integrating subjects and methods of instruction. Research supports the benefit of self-contained classrooms teaching with a literature-rich curriculum as the basis for instruction in the primary grades. This session will present ways to integrate core subjects through proficient habits of thinking, speaking, reading, and listening across the curriculum.  Learn how to embody this through a classical instructional framework. (Focus will be on K-5 but applicable to all grades.)

Classical Teaching: The Trivium & the Modes of Learning
This session introduces teachers to the vision and principles of classical teaching, focusing on the Trivium of grammar, dialectic (logic), and rhetoric as modes of learning. Teachers will learn how to lead students to engage content through wonder so that knowledge is remembered (grammar), guide students to a deeper understanding of a lesson through multiple exercises that challenge the intellect (dialectic/logic), and show students how to organize their deeper insights and understandings so that they can communicate this knowledge in a logical, persuasive, and eloquent manner (rhetoric).

The Trivium as a Framework: Applying the Trivium to Lesson Planning and Block Classes
This session builds upon Classical Teaching: The Trivium & the Modes of Learning (see above) and guides teachers to apply what has been learned to lesson planning. Special attention can be given to how this is realized in block scheduling. 

Rhetoric and the Common Topics
Teachers will learn about the classical art of rhetoric and its first canon of Invention. In this canon, we will explore ways of thinking and speaking about a subject: definition, division, comparison, relationships such as cause and effect, circumstances, and testimony. Once students understand these ways, they will be able to more clearly formulate a thesis and organize and defend arguments.

Memorization: The Lost Canon of Rhetoric, the Delight of the Wise
In a tech age, many find themselves both skeptical of the merits and incapable of the challenge of memorization.  Yet the great thinkers of the Tradition knew that memorization could make or break a speech, and could provide hours of enjoyment.  Given the flabbiness of our brains when it comes to memorization, accustomed as we have become to outsourcing our memories to computers that fit in our pockets, it is essential to begin building memory muscle in a pleasant way.  Leaning on the Horatian maxim that the purpose of poetry is to teach and to delight, teachers in this session will learn why memorization was considered so important; how it can benefit their students (and themselves); and how, practically, to go about teaching memorization. For grades K-12 (1-3 hours with Dr. Kathryn Davis).

Mastering the Four Arguments
Teachers will learn how to use the ancient rhetorical method of Stasis Theory to help students discover a topic, find a thesis, and most importantly organize and defend their arguments with well-chosen evidence and reasons. Teachers will learn how to use templates for the four basic arguments (Definitional, Causal, Evaluative, and Problem-Solution) to help students see how different kinds of arguments are related, how they each take a different “shape,” and how they each need different kinds of evidence. For grades 6-12, but especially 9-12. (2-8 hours with Dr. Roper)

Introduction to Teaching Grammar and Sentence Diagramming
This session can be adapted to any grade range and may include: using Montessori grammar symbols to introduce young children to the parts of speech; an introduction to sentence diagramming for beginners; more advanced sentence diagramming; how to use beautiful works of art to teach and reinforce grammar concepts while fostering an appreciation of beauty and a sense of wonder.

Introducing the Progymnasmata: Classical Writing & Rhetoric for Grades 3-8
Teachers will learn to teach the first 2 stages of the progymnasmata for elementary children (narratio and extending a fable). Discover the research that supports this pedagogical method and how children with language delays benefit from the progymnasmata exercises. After we do a few lessons, teachers will create one to share. For grades 3-8. (3 hours)

Writing as Imitation
Teachers will learn how to use this ancient technique to improve students’ writing, from the micro- to the macro-level, by imitating the great writers of the past. For grades 6-12, but especially 9-12. (2-8 hours with Dr. Roper)

Ethos in the Classroom
Do you have trouble being heard? Holding the classroom’s attention? Do you ever lose your voice? In Ethos in the Classroom, teachers will learn techniques for developing their own unique teaching presence or ethos. Initially, we will focus on diction, breathing, and vocal production, and then the session will explore ways to engage and hold an audience.

The Importance of Beauty
Experience how to rightly form the imagination and affections of students towards an aesthetic life. In this day of technology and data reports, we must not forget that the ultimate purpose of education is the formation of the whole person: body and soul; mind, will, and affections. Charlotte Mason asserts that we refresh students by offering opportunities “to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit…” How do we teach the complete perfection of color, form, proportion, and harmony in a world that screams relativism and subjectivism? (2-3 hours; 3 hours if we do a nature study lesson too)

Introduction to the Quadrivium
Teachers will explore the four mathematical arts traditionally known as the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Teachers will discover the essential role that these mathematical arts have in a classical liberal arts education, considering such questions as:  In what natural ways have teachers of the quadrivium related these arts to one another? In what order were they studied, and why? How do these mathematical arts prepare the way for higher studies, how do they help one order and integrate the sciences, and how do they contribute to nourishing the soul.

Number Patterns
This session guides teachers to a deeper understanding of number patterns. Through activities, teachers will explore pattern blocks by solving several different-looking problems and discover their connection to Fibonacci numbers. (With Dr. Hochberg)

Proportional Reasoning and Fractions
It is infamously true that many mathematically-talented students somehow become convinced that they are not “good at math” at about the time that they learn fractions. This seems to be because there are several different ways to think about fractions — ways that are related, but different. If students could keep clear about the ideas of fractions, rational numbers, and proportional quantities, while understanding the distinction clearly, they have a much better chance of successfully leaping the rational divide and continuing to grow mathematically. This workshop presents a very clear way to think about these ideas. (With Dr. Hochberg)

Fun with Number Theory
“Unfortunately it’s not a multiple of 17,” my student said to me as we were staring at the number 102,683. “It’s also not the sum of two squares,” she said. 17 is my favorite number, so she was commiserating with me. One reason that I like 17 is that it is the sum of two squares: 4^2 + 1^2. That student is not a genius of any sort; she just has some basic understanding of how numbers work as you add and multiply them. That’s what this workshop is about. (2-4 hours with Dr. Hochberg)


Engaging a Sense of Wonder
Imagine the delight, surprise, and awe felt by the Dutch lens-grinder and scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek when he first peered through a lens at a sample of pond water and discovered a whole new world of life forms too small to be seen by the naked eye. The sense of wonder is vital to scientific exploration because it inspires us with the desire for deeper understanding. In this session, teachers will learn why a sense of wonder is a fundamental virtue for students of science to develop and how to help students grow in this virtue not only through lab experiments and demonstrations, but also through their daily lessons. (1-3 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

The Art of Seeing Things: Observation
In so many ways, we go through the world without really “seeing” it. But science and scientific discovery are grounded in a keen sense of observation. What does it mean to observe? Why might observation be considered a virtue? This interactive session will explore various ways to encourage students to develop and refine their own sense of observation. (1-3 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Teaching Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
This approach to the Scientific Method considers questions of how we come to know things about the world around us. This basic introduction to epistemology emphasizes the process of reasoning, which is a virtue students will carry far beyond the science classroom. (1-3 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

The Four Causes
This session will offer teachers a way to help students consider objects of scientific analysis, grounded in Aristotelian physics and metaphysics. By including not just questions of “what” and “how” but “why”, the Four Causes help students understand deeper truths about purpose and what it means to flourish – as well as a greater appreciation for the ordered design of the cosmos. (1-3 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Scientific Communication: Reading and Writing Lab Procedures and Reports
In this highly engaging and entertaining workshop session, teachers will discover the importance and complexity of clear scientific communication. How do you best explain a procedure so that it can be replicated by others? How do you present your research and findings in a clear and compelling way? This session addresses some of the key virtues of the science classroom: logical thinking, communication, and collaboration. (2-4 hours with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela)

Answering the Popular Brain Worms of Edu-Speak
We all know about “ear worms,” when a song or phrase gets stuck in our heads. But progressive education creates “brain worms” like “facts and knowledge do not matter; critical thinking does” and “we need to get away from ‘drill and kill'” and “we don’t want a Sage on the Stage but a Guide on the Side” and “Project-Based Learning is superior to all other kinds” and “we want students to make their own meanings.” This workshop shows what is wrong with these brain worms, how to respond to them, and how classical liberal education is superior to all of them. (1-3 hours with Dr. Roper)

Teaching Latin and Modern Foreign Languages Classically K-3rd Grade and 4th-12th Grade
Latin teaching from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance did not focus on the value of Latin for mental gymnastics and improved SAT scores. Instead, the goal of learning foreign languages was to experience language as an art, and language teaching focused on the ability to speak, read, and write with ease. This session explores the role of foreign languages in the Trivium and demonstrates how students can experience the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric modes of instruction in every language class. In K-3rd grade, teachers will experience how to use pictures and gestures to help students memorize songs, nursery rhymes and poetry, how to do Little Socratic dialogs with their students, how to use beautiful works of art as well as classic stories, and the Gouin series. For 4th grade and up, teachers will experience the continued value of memorizing poetry and prose, how to use Socratic questions and narration in reading lessons, how to create meaningful and effective grammar exercises, and how to teach composition to promote accuracy and fluency. (Ideally split up in two different sections for K-5 and 6-12 but can be combined as needed.)

Reading and Narration in Latin and Modern Foreign Language Classes
This session is ideal for teachers who have already had an introduction to teaching Latin and foreign languages classically. Reading is at the heart of a classical education, in foreign languages no less than in English. This session emphasizes the importance of reading not just to decode and translate, but to narrate and internalize the text. We will explore and practice many different strategies for implementing narration effectively in the foreign language classroom, both in Latin and modern foreign languages.

Classically Bilingual
Children are supposedly like sponges, soaking up language effortlessly. And yet, even students in bilingual schools often don’t become fully fluent and proficient in both languages. This session will highlight the need for biliteracy to achieve full bilingualism, and present ways for teachers to use classical methods to help children learn to read, write, and speak fluently and proficiently as well as understand the grammar of both languages.

Closing PD Session: Wonder and Joy (offered at conclusion of PD day)
Teachers will be led through a reflection on the meaning of the PD sessions and the mission to educate by forming students in a way that cultivates wonder and joy. (15-20 minutes)