Paideia Academics

Paideia Academics

Teach the classical liberating arts. Build inclusive communities. Learn more at https://paideiafellowship.com/about/.

The Paideia Fellowship is a tribe of people who teach, coach, and support students and classical homeschooling parents, mentors, and homeschool community leaders to learn and teach the classical liberal arts via the Paideia Fellowship Homeschool Community, in-person and online training, conferences, and workshops, consulting for homeschool community leaders, lesson plans, learning guides, and a we

Operating as usual

05/12/2023

What is useful about the humanities? Do they offer any value to the human person or society? It depends on what one means by useful and what one considers valuable. Today Junius and Jennifer will explore these questions and look at the distinction between utilitarian value and intrinsic value as it relates to the humanities. Join us live at 1:00 pm EST, or watch it later on Instagram or Facebook.

Listen in , equipping you to live a life of virtuosity and improvisation.

Have you ever felt the tension of not knowing something you thought you ought to know? Or the frustration with a lack of certainty about the right interpretation of a text? Or even the desire to improvise in the way you teach something, but you weren't sure if it would still be classical?

In today's episode, Junius and Jennifer talk about all of this and more! They riff on their name, 'Classical Riffs,' ‘Why Jazz is an apt metaphor for classical education,’ and the many lessons we can learn from jazz that makes Classical teaching more accessible. 

In addition to the opening questions, Junius and Jennifer explore the elements of Jazz music, what makes it distinct from Classical music, and whether one can reconcile a classical commitment to tradition with the free improvisation so common in jazz. 

Listen in @classicalriffs —equipping you to live a life of virtuosity and improvisation.

#Learning #Student #Teachers #Teaching #TimelessTeaching #ClassicalEducation #TeacherTraining #LiberalArts #ClassicalLiberalArts #ClassicalHomeschooling #ClassicalTeaching #ClassicalEd 21/11/2023

Have you ever felt the tension of not knowing something you thought you ought to know? Or the frustration with a lack of certainty about the right interpretation of a text? Or even the desire to improvise in how you teach something, but you weren't sure if it would still be classical?

In today's episode, Junius and Jennifer talk about all of this and more! They riff on their name, 'Classical Riffs,' ‘Why Jazz is an apt metaphor for classical education,’ and the many lessons we can learn from jazz that make Classical teaching more accessible.
In addition to the opening questions, Junius and Jennifer explore the elements of Jazz music, what makes it distinct from Classical music, and whether one can reconcile a classical commitment to tradition with the free improvisation so common in jazz.

Listen in at Classical Riffs —equipping you to live a life of virtuosity and improvisation.

Brought to you by Junius Johnson Academics and Paideia Academics

Have you ever felt the tension of not knowing something you thought you ought to know? Or the frustration with a lack of certainty about the right interpretation of a text? Or even the desire to improvise in the way you teach something, but you weren't sure if it would still be classical? In today's episode, Junius and Jennifer talk about all of this and more! They riff on their name, 'Classical Riffs,' ‘Why Jazz is an apt metaphor for classical education,’ and the many lessons we can learn from jazz that makes Classical teaching more accessible. In addition to the opening questions, Junius and Jennifer explore the elements of Jazz music, what makes it distinct from Classical music, and whether one can reconcile a classical commitment to tradition with the free improvisation so common in jazz. Listen in @classicalriffs —equipping you to live a life of virtuosity and improvisation. #Learning #Student #Teachers #Teaching #TimelessTeaching #ClassicalEducation #TeacherTraining #LiberalArts #ClassicalLiberalArts #ClassicalHomeschooling #ClassicalTeaching #ClassicalEd

07/11/2023

Season two launches with many new good things. Dr. Junius Johnson and I will be hosting Classical Riffs twice per month and continuing with those helpful and convivial conversations. Follow for all the goodness!

03/10/2023

Are fairy stories more important for young kids or high school students? We will riff on that question plus more this Thursday with my friend Junius Johnson from Junius Johnson Academics! Tune in on Instagram on the Classical Riffs page at 7:00pm EST.

This month on Classical Riffs, Junius from and Jennifer from will discuss Junius’ new book ‘On Teaching Fairy Stories.’ This is going to be a full and enchanted episode! We’ll discuss…

📚Fairy stories are just for kids, right?
📚Are fairy stories essential to the curriculum?
📚How do we teach fairy stories?
📚How do you design a lesson around a fairy story?

Join us Thursday, October 5th at 7:00 pm EST on the Instagram page!

31/07/2023

What method is Simone Weil referring to? She is referring to the method of giving our attention, specifically in the context of academic exercises. She says, "There is a way of giving our attention to the data of a problem in geometry without trying to find the solution, or to the words of a Latin or Greek text without trying to arrive at the meaning, a way of waiting, when we are writing, for the right word to come of itself at the end of our pen, while we merely reject all inadequate words. Our first duty towards school children and students is to make known this method to them, not only in a general way but in the particular form which bears in each exercise."

In other words, our job as teachers is to make known the way our students must give their attention to school studies in general and in the particular form which bears in each exercise. We must help them develop the habit of attention in general. We must also teach them how to pay attention to literature, history, the natural world, writing, drawing, etc. Each involves the greater faculty of attention in general and a nuanced form of attention for each art or content area. What we dwell with in history differs from the mode of inquiry in literature or writing.

These forms of attention, or modes of inquiry, are significant aspects of what we study in the Fellowship. The Fellowship is our Classical teacher coaching program. The Fellowship coaches teachers, school administrators, and co-op leaders in an approach to classical teacher development and evaluation that goes beyond the booklist into a hands-on journey of timeless teaching practices suited for the modern classical learning environment. Class begins September 1, 2023.

Message us to learn more about the Fellowship, or visit our website https://paideiaacademics.mykajabi.com/the-fellowship

28/07/2023

Instructing ourselves and our students in the art of waiting.

Over the last two weeks, we have talked about coaching students, waiting for revelation, and how to be with students in uncertainty. A related topic that comes to mind is the personal demeanor we ought to have when waiting. Ought to because there are certain ways of being that make the revelation more likely and other practices that close us off. It is beautiful to be in the upper room and actively wait upon revelation. But how do we wait? And how do we teach our students to wait in such a way?

In short, we model it. Yet who can be our model? The Annunciation, 1898, by Henry Ossawa Tanner, depicts this spirit of waiting. Take a few moments to look at the painting. What do you notice?

I am immediately drawn to Mary, the position of her shoulders and hands, the gaze of her eyes, and the tilt of her head. She seems to be both open and cautious. She listens and observes. She recognizes the gravity of the moment and remains in a prayerful posture. Yet, she is receptive. Wholly receptive.

While waiting, I can lean into these things for my benefit and to be an example to my students.

* I can specifically give my whole attention to whatever is in front of me to behold
* I can stay in the tension of openness and discernment
* I can remain prayerful, for all revelation comes as a gift
* I can be receptive to the word that comes, even if it is not what I expected

What stands out to you? How have you supported your students in waiting on the fruits of learning? Side note, this is why I love studying paintings as a doorway into the ways of being of masterful teaching and learning. We are never at a loss for things we can behold and learn from.

24/07/2023

How to coach students through uncertainty...

In Paradise, Dante takes a journey through the heavenly spheres with the guidance of Beatrice. Each sphere offers Dante an opportunity to learn something new. In Canto 14, they are in the sphere of The Wise, and Dante beautifully conveys what it is like to be in that veiled space of unknowing, and Beatrice shows us how to help someone navigate it. The space of unknowing is a powerful milestone in apprehending truth, because it is at this point that longing has awoken in the student’s heart, and their attention is given to the inquiry, but they are not entirely sure where to go next. This is how Beatrice helps Dante.

Beatrice already knows what Dante does not know. She supports Dante by first acknowledging where he is. She acknowledges the uncertainty. Second, she asks a question that speaks to Dante’s need without solving it. Dante doesn’t know what questions to ask. Beatrice does and asks them. Third, she brings Dante into the presence of people that can offer insight into his questions. Lastly, she embodies patience. Beatrice does not rush but instead lets Dante dwell in the veiled inquiry where he actively waits.

Tips for Coaching Students through Uncertainty.
💡 Witness and acknowledge where your student is and make it neutral.
💡Ask questions your students don’t have words for yet.
💡Don’t answer the questions yourself. Instead, invite students to listen to the voices (authors, artists, etc.) that have insights into the question. In this way, you guide them to live the question themselves rather than imposing answers.
💡Practice patience. Trust the student’s mind and their desire to know. It is a human endeavor to seek and find. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2

21/07/2023

What should a classical teacher do when coaching students? The Banjo Lesson, by Henry Ossawa Tanner, gives us some beautiful insights. Coaching is the process of externalizing an internal process in such a way that students can imitate the process, practice it for themselves, receive feedback from the coach, and then rinse and repeat.

Whenever coaching classical teachers on how to lean into the role of coach, I use this painting to open our minds. Take two minutes to look at the painting. What do you notice? What do you wonder? What does it remind you of?

I first notice how the older gentleman sits with the child and the banjo. The child would otherwise not be able to hold the banjo properly. The man holds the banjo in place and positions his fingers on the threads while the boy rests on his leg for support. The man does for the boy what the boy cannot yet do for himself.

I wonder about what the man is thinking. I imagine the boy must have approached the man, possibly his grandfather, and asked if he could play. I imagine the man said yes, and there began their lesson. The boy strums the strings carefully, and the man's gaze is even more careful. I wonder what he is noticing. What is he watching for? I notice the comfort that exists between the two musicians. I also notice the ease and patience the man embodies. He is content with the extra support he must give the boy. He understands this is the milestone the boy is at, and it is good. There is no narrative that the boy should be at a more advanced juncture. The man exists with the boy, where the boy is, and moves from there.

This is an ideal practice and way of being a teacher embodies when coaching students:
* Attentive
* Discerns what milestone the student is at
* Supports the student in light of that milestone with ease and patience
* Models how to do the thing being taught, whether it be writing, drawing, calculating, etc.
* Gives the student ample and restful space for practice.

What do you see in this painting? What are other ways of being and practices the coach embodies?

About the Artist, by Farisa Khalid:
"Henry Ossawa Tanner was the United States’ first African American celebrity artist. His training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and at the Académie Julian in Paris put him in the unique position of having experienced two vastly different approaches to painting— American Realism and French academic painting. He was also one of the few artists to have had such training at a time when there were many barriers to education for African Americans. Though Tanner lived most of his life in France and became well known for his lush biblical paintings, The Banjo Lesson is his most famous work and the painting that has become emblematic with his oeuvre." -Farisa Khalid, SmartHistory(.)com.

19/07/2023

John Keats had a word for this. He called it negative capability. The ability of a person to remain in half truths, the tension of not knowing and coming to know, the experience of living the questions, the threshold. This space is veiled and marked by uncertainty. It can also be marked by curiosity and joy if we allow ourselves to relate to it in such a way. Regardless, it is a space we must learn to live in as teachers and students. Developing our ability to be attentive in the veiled threshold is paramount to a flourishing practice of classical teaching and learning 

We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — 'how can you live and not know?'
It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don't know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know. ~Richard P. Feynman

(Book: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out https://amzn.to/3Oh6R7w)

17/07/2023

What does Sayers mean by Pentecost? In this section of Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers is discussing Pentecost as a metaphor for the moment of apprehension, or learning. That moment the student "gets it." The whole chapter is fantastic, and for now, let’s play with the similarities between Pentecost and learning. Here are four observations that came to my mind.

💡Wait. Pentecostal manifestations require that we wait in the upper room. If we leave the inquiry. We miss out. Both student and teacher choose to stay in the upper room with all their doubt, curiosity, uncertainty, joy, and expectations, trusting it will all be sorted out as they actively wait.

💡Wait Actively. The Waiting is Active. The disciples prayed while they waited. As teachers and students, we stay in the inquiry, seeking understanding and playing with the content at hand. As we stay committed to that activity, revelation and connections unfold naturally.

💡Release Control. The teacher and the student relinquishes control of making the revelation occur by jumping to conclusions, imposing the answers, or attempting to shortcut the process of learning. It is not up to the teacher or the student when the fire of revelation descends. We wait actively and trust the process.

💡Create Space for Varied Embodiment. Pentecostal manifestations are, by nature, integrative. It is not an isolated "I know this fact". It changes you. The student can't ever unsee what opened up for them in the book or math problem. When Pentecost happens, it is often beyond what we expected. How an idea lands for each student differs. How it is synthesized within them also differs. Make sure you are clear on your desired learning outcome, but make sure to create a space where students can embody what landed for them in their own words.

What stands out to you? What else can we notice in this metaphor for learning?

10/07/2023

If the teacher, not the curriculum, is the one in need of reform, what does that reform look like? One of the first places we can go to is our disposition, mindset, and heartset toward learning. ⁣

Before trying something new it’s always helpful to take a brief assessment of where we find ourselves. No shame, just neutral information so we know where we’re beginning. Hicks’ quote gives us a few powerful questions to help us do that. Here is how I have been asking them of myself.⁣

1. Am I the kind of person that allows what I learn to integrate into my living and thinking? How am I doing that? What is the last example I can think of?⁣

2. Do I embody curiosity, a willingness to experiment, and a mindset open to possibilities? Where do I resist curiosity? Why?⁣

3. Do I have a growth mindset or do I have a habit of resisting change? Where do I think “I have the answer.”? ⁣

4. Do I challenge myself to stretch into new and unfamiliar territory? Where am I am inflexible and overly attached to a certain idea, way of doing things, or vantage point? ⁣

💬 What question stood out to you the most? Type 1, 2, 3, or 4 in the comments!⁣

➡️ For me, it’s #1. It’s easy for me to live in my mind with all these beautiful ideas. Challenging myself to live what I am learning is at the forefront of my classical teaching practice right now. ⁣

07/07/2023

What distinguishes classical education from a more modern progressive education? Many things, but one is this, "the teacher, not the curriculum, (is) the focus of reform." In classical education, we trust the leadership of the teacher, and that of course means, they are leading by example. A classical teacher is a living and imperfect witness to the tradition they profess. They live the life of a classical student aloud in front of their students. They lead the charge in the inquiry. They are the first to model the humility and curiosity needed for a book, poem, or painting to open itself up to the class. All of this requires the teacher to undergo the same education their students are. We do not sit above our students, but rather a few steps ahead on the same path.

28/06/2023

Sometimes the best thing we can do as teachers, as fellow humans, is create a space, where our students and our comrades can live a question long enough that they live into the answer.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Photos from Paideia Academics's post 28/06/2023

If you missed the live sessions of this mini-course, not to worry. We recorded everything and are offering it to you as an at-your-own-pace mini-course!

What the mini-course includes:

📕 Three 1.5-Hour Recorded Lectures
📖 Lifetime Access to Recordings, Handouts, and Resources
📕 Session 1: The Role of Student and Teacher in Reading Attentively + An Intro to Tolkien, Fantasy, Fairie, and The Lord of the Rings
📖 Session 2: A Guided Tour through the World, Characters, Episodes, Questions, and Motifs of The Lord of the Rings
📕 Session 3: Teacher Prep, Routine, and Reflection + the Student’s Routine
📖 Course Workbook
📕 Slideshow Presentation for each Lecture
📖 Suggested Scheduling Handouts
📕 Teaching Guides for the Introduction to the Lord of the Rings and Each Book
📖 Student Handouts
📕 Teacher Planning Handouts

31/05/2023

It is a Long-Expected Party, but it has finally come, and there is food, merriment, and a bit of the perilous for all who choose this adventure. Learn how to guide students into a practice of attentive reading through the transformative world of Middle Earth through this helpful (and fun) mini-course.

Classical teacher, Jennifer Dow, has taught Lord of the Rings since 2012 to students in 7th - 12th grades. She has learned that The Lord of the Rings is one of the most accessible works for ushering students into the world of reading the great books well. The fundamental skills and mindset needed for profound encounters with the classics can be effectively cultivated by attentively reading The Lord of the Rings, a work that is enjoyable and transformative in its own right! This course will show you the way.

Class begins June 21st! Learn more and register today! https://paideiaacademics.mykajabi.com/offers/ytnFwpBK

High School Classical Humanities Program — Paideia Academics 25/05/2023

Classical Humanities Program for 9th – 12th Graders

— Five Classical Courses, One Program — Literature + Writing & Rhetoric + History + Logic + Oratory + (Optional) American Government & Economics

The American Spirit: A Study of the Diverse Stories, Land, Ideas, Culture, and People of America

Learn More Below!...

High School Classical Humanities Program — Paideia Academics Paideia Fellowship | Teach the Classical Liberal Arts. Build Inclusive Communities. | Online Homeschool Academy ~ Teacher Training ~ Consulting for Co-ops & Schools

Middle School Liberal Arts Program 2023-24 — Paideia Academics 25/05/2023

Classical Humanities Program for 7th – 9th Graders

— Five Classical Courses, One Program: Literature + Writing + History + Logic + Oratory

The Chronicles of Narnia, The Faerie Queene, & Select Fairy Tales | American History | Language Logic | Narration & the Progymnasmata | Shakespeare & Oratory

Learn More Below!...

Middle School Liberal Arts Program 2023-24 — Paideia Academics Paideia Fellowship | Teach the Classical Liberal Arts. Build Inclusive Communities. | Online Homeschool Academy ~ Teacher Training ~ Consulting for Co-ops & Schools

06/04/2023

Many times we view conflict as something to be avoided. Seems natural, right? But, what if tension and conflict were actually helpful realities that brought about more learning and connection? In the second episode of Classical Riffs, today Thursday, April 6, at 7 pm EDT. Junius Johnson, from Junius Johnson Academics]] Junius Johnson Academics, and I will be speaking about the role of conflict in learning.

Follow Junius on his Instagram account to be notified when we go live. Junius Johnson Academics]]

Come learn about how to embrace conflict as a helpful approach to teaching in today's conversation.

is a series of light-hearted and helpful conversations among members of the Independent Classical Educator Fellowship. In each episode, two seasoned classical educators riff on a topic related to classical education for about 20 minutes. It's meant to be fun, helpful, and hopefully a bit entertaining.

All Instagram Lives are recorded and posted on the Classical Riffs Instagram and page. Follow us to be notified when the recording is posted and future episodes are announced!

Listen in today at 7:00 pm EST on Junius Johnson's Instagram account. Share with a teacher in your life. It will be a helpful conversation! Junius Johnson Academics]]

06/04/2023

Many times we view conflict as something to be avoided. Seems natural, right? But, what if tension and conflict were actually helpful realities that brought about more learning and connection? In the second episode of Classical Riffs, today Thursday, April 6, at 7 pm EDT. Junius Johnson, from Junius Johnson Academics, and I will be speaking about the role of conflict in learning.

Follow Junius on his Instagram account to be notified when we go live. https://www.instagram.com/junius_johnson/

Come learn about how to embrace conflict as a helpful approach to teaching in today's conversation.

Classical Riffs is a series of light-hearted and helpful conversations among members of the Independent Classical Educator Fellowship. In each episode, two seasoned classical educators riff on a topic related to classical education for about 20 minutes. It's meant to be fun, helpful, and hopefully a bit entertaining.

All Instagram Lives are recorded and posted on the Classical Riffs Instagram and page. Follow us to be notified when the recording is posted and future episodes are announced!

Listen in today at 7:00 pm EST on Junius Johnson's Instagram account. Share with a teacher in your life. It will be a helpful conversation! https://www.instagram.com/junius_johnson/

03/03/2023

Classical Riffs Ep 001, On Beauty. Classical Riffs, a series of light-hearted and helpful conversations among members of the Independent Classical Educator Fellowship. Two seasoned classical educators riff on a topic related to classical education for 20–30 minutes. It is sure to be fun, helpful, and entertaining. Enjoy the first episode below!

22/01/2023

What good teaching feels like in the moment. There’s never a point we have it all figured out. We start with one thing and we take the next step in faith and trust.

05/01/2023

Do you have a end of term reflection practice? Do you create space to reflect on your teaching practice? To notice what is working and what’s not? What feels flourishing and what needs some attention. The reflection is just as important as the teaching. They inform each other. This is what my reflection looks like. Contemplating core images and artifacts that embody the skills and ways of being I am practicing + a host of questions to get me noticing more in my teaching practice. What does your reflection and self-assessment practice look like?

Timeline photos 11/07/2022

What do you think? From the beginning of philosophical thought people have been discussing this duality. The tension between the individual and community or altruism and egoism, and many other ways of saying what goes back to this… unity and diversity. Is it one or the other? If not, what is the harmony of the two? These are important questions as we consider our teaching practice and how we cultivate learning environments. How we hold space for tension, mystery, and dualities says a lot about what we value in our learning environments.

"Wherever there is unity in diversity, then we are free to be ourselves; it cannot be done in isolation; we need each other." A Circle of Quiet

Photos from Heritage Mom - Homeschooling Children With Mirrors and Windows's post 16/05/2022

Congratulations Amber O'Neal on the release of your new book! This world is a better place because it exists. Thank you for sharing with us. It’s the last day to preorder folks! Get on that today!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college?

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