Announcement: Petra Academy Classical Educator’s Conference

I’ll be speaking next week at Petra Academy’s Classical Educator’s Conference.

The conference is August 26-27 (Mon-Tues) and costs only $30. Several of Petra’s experienced staff will be sharing their expertise, and the conference isn’t just for teachers. It has a lot to offer parents, homeschoolers, and anyone else working through the cultural issues surrounding education.

[Update:  The conference was a great success, and several of my talks were recorded.  You can download them for free by clicking this link.]


I’ll be presenting five talks on various topics. Here’s a summary of them:

  1. How Fairy Tales Shape the Imagination—While all imaginative literature helps develop imagination, fairy tales are especially powerful. Fairy tales give young people a desire for beauty and goodness as no other type of story can. This talk explains the reasons for this and also gives several ideas for practical application in the classroom. This is a revision of a talk I gave at the international ACCS conference two years ago. Since then, I’ve done more reading, thinking, and teaching about fairy tales, which is reflected in this revised talk.
  2. How to Teach the Lordship of Christ—One of the ideological pillars of Classical Christian education is the doctrine of Christ’s Lordship. But what does lordship mean and how does it affect the way that classical educators teach? How does it change the way we approach our subjects? And how do we teach this doctrine to our students? This talk answers these questions and presents the central vision of CCE.
  3. Teaching Humanities—On the first day of humanities class, each Petra student receives a box of 20-35 books—their texts for this class. These books are classic texts of literature, theology, and history, all from a major historical period (antiquity, medieval, modern). Over the next nine months, they read, discuss, write about, and apply what these books have to say. This talk explains the philosophy behind this structure, the major benefits it offers, and techniques for successful teaching. I also discuss the method we use at Petra to cultivate delight and interest in the students as we read our way through western civilization.
  4. Lectio Divina: How to Read with Your Heart—Everyone knows how to read for data accumulation, but few people know how to read in a way that transforms their character in lasting, permanent ways. This talk explains a medieval method of reading called lectio divina, a technique for reading and memorizing Scripture. When applied to the works read in the classroom, this method helps awaken in students a thirst for wisdom and virtue. A companion talk to “Teaching Humanities”, this presentation will transform the way you read for good. It may even change you for good.
  5. The Seven Laws of Teaching—Mastering the craft of teaching begins with learning the seven laws of teaching. Formulated at the turn of the twentieth century by John Milton Gregory, these seven simple principles are the foundation of effective teaching of any kind. This talk summarizes each law and gives practical advice for how it works in the classroom. The Seven Laws are both the cornerstone of good teaching and the keystone. Even experienced teachers benefit from a constant review of Gregory’s Laws.

These are only five of the talks available at the conference. There are several others that I’m excited to hear. Call Petra Academy to register (406-582-8165).

See you there!