As I’ve mentioned in the introduction forum, I teach HS literature and theology. My school functions chiefly on socratic dialog. I love this method of learning, but I’m a little worried our reading load is overstuffed. So my question is, about how many books do you dig into deeply with your secondary students?
The sad truth is that, under the pressures of the public examination system, we generally dig deeply into very few books in the UK. However, there are some attempts to do things differently. We can perhaps share notes on Good Books and Great Books Programmes in other posts, but I want to mention an approach that is being developed in some Benedictine Schools across the world. By using Lectio Divina as a model, they are rediscovering the importance of slow, meditative reading and re-reading. I wonder if this is a way forward in a frenetic world that marches to a hasty online beat?
In our co-op we use the Seton program, and they generally do about six books a year per grade, and pretty in depth, with a focus junior year on Catholic culture. In class, I take advantage of the group setting to have the students really analyze the book and try to discover what makes it great, how it’s crafted, and what it says to their life as a human being. These are not generally privileged kids, very few are above average, and so I welcome the chance to give average kids a taste of classical education. It’s why I love working in this program.