- 7 Weeks
- 1 hr 45 min
- This course is Completion Certificate-eligible and CEU-eligible.
- The listed days, dates and times are Chicago dates and times in the USA / Canada Central Time Zone (CT), which must then be converted to your local time zone. Your local class start time may change during the course if our time zone and/or your local time zone transition to or from Daylight Savings Time (Summer Time) during the course.
Like all Great Discourses discussion courses, this live, interactive online discussion course is designed to facilitate the collaborative close readings of classics in ways that help participants transform the challenging into the exhilarating and elevating through “Aha!” moments of profound discovery. Participation requires an Internet-enabled computer or mobile device. The course is open to great books educators (broadly understood). Students do a modest amount of reading homework in preparation for each live online class session, but there are no papers, no tests and no grades. The readings and discussion are in English.
This readings for this course will be available to you on the course page at the Great Discourses Collaboratory Online Course Center once you have completed your registration for this course.
History of Great Books
- Lacy, “Dreams of a Democratic Culture: Revising the Origins of the Great Books Idea, 1869–1921” (2008)
- Farrar, “Great Books” (1898)
- Erskine, “The Enjoyment in Reading Classics” (1927)
- Erskine, “Great Books” (1948)
- University of Chicago Library, “The Great Ideas: The University of Chicago and the Ideal of Liberal Education” (2002)
Reading Great Books
- Adler and Van Doren, “The Activity and Art of Reading” & “The Levels of Reading” (1972 )
- Hutchins, The Great Conversation (1952)
Discussing Great Books
- Schneider, “Remembrance of Things Past: A History of the Socratic Method in the United States” (2013)
- Mathews, “Literary Clubs” (1874)
- Sinaiko, “Socrates and Freud: Talk and Truth” & “Dialogue and Dialectic: The Limitations on Human Wisdom” (1998)
- Klein, “The Art of Questioning” (1956)
Studying/Teaching Great Books
- Bulletin of St. John’s College 1937-38 (2004 )
- Kinnell, The Basic Program at Chicago (1955)
- Klein, “Discussion as a Means of Teaching and Learning” (n.d.)
- Anastaplo, “The Teacher as Learner” (1992)
- Adler, “The Three Columns Revisited” (1987)
Great Books over the Lifecycle
- Adler, “Adult Education” (1952)
- Knowles, “Andragogy: The New Science of Education” (1980 )
- Strauss, “What is Liberal Education?” (2003 )
- Adler, “Great Books, Democracy and Truth” (1988 )
Managing Great Books
- Cohen, “Robert Maynard Hutchins: The Educator as Moralist” (1964)
- Dzuback, “Hutchins, Adler, and the University of Chicago: A Critical Juncture” (1990)
- Levitt, “Marketing Myopia” (1960)
- Bedbury, “What Great Brands Do” (1997)
Perspectives on Great Books
- Dewey, “Challenge to Liberal Thought” (2008 )
- Redman & Witticoff, “A Debate on the Great Books Program” (1950)
- Fitzpatrick, Great Books: Panacea or What? (1952)
- Wilhelmsen, “The Great Books: Enemies of Wisdom” (1987)
To get the most out of this intensive discussion course, you will have to do a substantial amount of reading homework in between class sessions — usually about three hours of reading for each hour of class time.
- How to Register for Courses
- Tuition, Discounts and Money Back Guarantee
- Registration for Educator Courses
- Completion Certficates and CEU
- Technical and Other Requirements
- Zoom Online Classroom
- Collaboratory Online Course Center
- Preparing for Class
- Missing Class
- How Discussion Courses Work
- Types of Discussion Courses
- Days, Dates and Times around the World
- Student Handbook
What students are saying
Adam Rose runs a class the way I believe it is supposed to run. He guides discussion through questions, and he expects us to be able to support our views with references to the texts. He will provide some background information where necessary, but without giving us a lecture. He does this with a good sense of humor and respect for everyone. He is not afraid to curb discussion when it gets off the subject.
Adam Rose consistently promotes stimulating and even controversial discussion in the classroom, no matter what the subject matter. He pushes you to think carefully and widely about the material and never makes you feel that your contributions are ridiculous. He has a great sense of humor and fun that make learning and discussing memorable. I have learned a tremendous amount under his guidance but mostly learned how to think more clearly and creatively.
When Adam Rose teaches, we learn! He can dissect and explain any text in such a way that I feel I have a handle on the concepts. He never lets the conversation veer off course. He can draw out people’s ideas and he’s a master of Socratic questioning. I’ve never had a teacher who can facilitate a discussion as well or bring more ideas to mind. He makes us think we’ve discovered the ideas on our own and gets our wheels spinning like no one else!
Adam Rose is teaching us how to think, how to analyze literature, how to approach it and ask the right question: What does this author say? And to separate out from that analysis whether or not we agree with it. Further, Adam is helping us draw connections between the periods of history of Western thought. We get to study individual books in all our courses, but seldom see the connections and where particular books fit in the scheme of things. I greatly appreciate his diagrams of significant themes or meanings in the book, the use of the visual to aid in our understanding. That helps us see the structure and the author’s intent. His classes are the best part of my week. Frequently, they are just awesome.