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Classical Education (Teaching)

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Certificate in Classical Education Philosophy

A certificate program that teaches the unique purposes and goals behind classical education, allowing classical educators to excel in their field and help their students to fulfill their potential.

Note: This is a continuing education program for working professionals; this is not an undergraduate degree program.


The Certificate in Classical Education Philosophy:

  • Seeks to equip degreed individuals with the why behind classical education
  • Encourages the habits of virtue we seek to inculcate in our students
  • Allows for extensive study of the books, ideas, and people that make up classical education


A thorough deep-dive into the heart of Classical Education

The Certificate in Classical Education Philosophy (CCEP) program consists of eight courses taken in any order (details below), culminating in a certificate. Each course is offered with the following model: participants are in cohorts of up to twelve; class is held through Google Meet; at each meeting, participants are led in a seminar discussion of a text read the previous week in preparation for the class. Each class meets five times over nine weeks. The certificate is earned upon completion of all eight courses (expected to be completed over two years). The classical renewal movement is growing at incredible speed, and the movement needs teachers and leaders who understand why we do what we do. We invite you to join us!

This program is free of charge to Thales Academy teachers and administrators. For those outside of Thales Academy, each course carries a $300 course fee.


All classes meet 7:00pm to 8:30pm EST via Google Meet

CCEP 100: Philosophical Anthropology

Participants will learn that the human person is the foundation for classical education (which seeks to form the human person towards the end of fulfilling that which is potential in all humans). Specific concepts include: the classical view of the soul, the moral imagination, and the role of norms in education. By the end of this course, participants should have a clear concept of the ends of education which align with the nature of the person.

Meeting Dates:

  • Meeting 1: April 4, 2024
  • Meeting 2: April 18, 2024
  • Meeting 3: May 2, 2024
  • Meeting 4: May 26, 2024
  • Meeting 5: May 30, 2024

Required Readings:

  • C.S. Lewis. The Abolition of Man.
    ISBN: 9780060652944
  • Russell Kirk. Enemies of the Permanent Things.
    ISBN: 1944418156
  • Richard Weaver. “Distinction and Hierarchy” and “Fragmentation and Obsession” in Ideas Have Consequences.
    ISBN: 022609006X

CCEP 110: Classical Pedagogy

This course introduces participants to the teaching strategies employed by classical educators. It builds upon CCEP 100 but can also be taken out of sequence. Participants will learn how to apply the Trivium as a pedagogical model, the role of virtue formation in classical education, how to balance the needs of didactic teaching, academic coaching, and Socratic Seminar in a unit, and how to help students appreciate the whole of knowledge. By the end of this course, participants should have a clear conception of the classical ideal of virtue, specific habits of reading, dialogue, and synthesis that help cultivate the learner into someone whose mind and soul are fed on rich ideas.

Meeting Dates:

  • Meeting 1: April 2, 2024
  • Meeting 2: April 16, 2024
  • Meeting 3: April 30, 2024
  • Meeting 4: May 14, 2024
  • Meeting 5: May 28, 2024

Required Readings:

  • Dorothy Sayers. Lost Tools of Learning.
    (PDF provided in Canvas course)
  • David Hicks. Norms and Nobility.
    ISBN: 0761814671
  • Mortimer Adler. Paideia Proposal.
    ISBN: 0684841886
  • Karen Glass. Consider This.
    ISBN: 1500808032

CCEP 120: History of Education

This course focuses on major developments in the history of western education. Each meeting will consist of a seminar discussion of a core text, and brief lecture describing the major educational innovations and contributions of the civilization represented by the text for the following week’s discussion. Reading selections for Meetings 2-4 will come from Richard Gamble’s anthology of texts The Great Tradition; meeting 5 will focus on John Taylor Gatto’s Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education. This course will enable participants to trace continuity and discontinuity in the field of education from antiquity through late modernity, increasing familiarity with various forms of education (cathedral school, one-room schoolhouse, district, independent school, etc), while seeing all as trying to achieve similar goals.

Meeting Dates:

  • Meeting 1: April 9, 2024
  • Meeting 2: April 23, 2024
  • Meeting 3: May 7, 2024
  • Meeting 4: May 21, 2024
  • Meeting 5: Jun 4, 2024

Required Readings:

  • Richard Gamble. The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What it Means to be an Educated Human Being.
    ISBN: 193519156X
  • John Taylor Gatto. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education.
    ISBN: 0865718547

CCEP 130: Virtuous Leadership

This course begins with defining leadership in continuity with the classical tradition, and seeks to explore the connection between defined principles and virtuous actions resulting in the best possible outcome. Participants will begin with reading and discussing Alexandre Havard’s Virtuous Leadership: An Agenda for Personal Excellence. They will then explore Shakespeare’s King Lear, a selection from Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, and conclude with Machiavelli’s The Prince. By the conclusion of this course, participants should have a clear understanding of authority, leadership, and the connection between virtue and flourishing. 

Meeting Dates:

  • Meeting 1: April 11, 2024
  • Meeting 2: April 25, 2024
  • Meeting 3: May 9, 2024
  • Meeting 4: May 23, 2024
  • Meeting 5: Jun 6, 2024

Required Readings:

  • Alexandre Havard. Virtuous Leadership: An Ageda for Personal Excellence, Second Edition.
    ISBN: 978-1-59417-204-5
  • William Shakespeare. King Lear (Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics edition).
    ISBN: 978-1-58049-341-3
  • Nicolo Maccivelli. The Prince (Penguin Classical edition).
    ISBN: 0140449159
  • Plutarch. A Selection of Eight Roman Lives (Oxford World Classics Edition).
    ISBN: 9780199537389

CCEP 140: Core Texts: Humanities (future offering)

CCEP 150: Core Texts: Math and Science (future offering)

CCEP 160: Classical Philosophy and Ethics (future offering)

CCEP 170: Writing for Leadership (future offering)