Kim Lanese, Assistant Principal at Norterra Canyon School in Phoenix, Arizona, on the impact Great Books has on her students & teachers.
“Through the Great Books process, our students are learning to have honest conversations that are rooted in textual evidence. A Great Books discussion encourages students to form opinions, but then requires them to justify and expand their point of view. At the same time, they’re learning that other peoples’ opinions are worth hearing, and that what they learn by listening and delving deeper into a text challenges their thinking and helps them develop initial responses into sophisticated theories. The process brings out a passion for truth that I’ve never seen through any other curriculum resource or instructional strategy; our students are truly engaged in cognitive processes that are meaningful and memorable. These are profound experiences that turn students into inspired learners and critical thinkers who ask thoughtful questions and seek relevant answers.”
“The Great Books training has inspired and invigorated our teachers on an intellectual level. Even as adults, we read the stories and learn new insights through our close reading and students’ discussions. It challenges us, as educators, to engage in high level thought processes and refine our practices to ask the right questions at the right time. My teachers have been shocked at how deeply their students think and how articulately they speak when given the chance. No other process or curricular resource that I’ve experienced has brought out this excitement in both teachers and students. This is inquiry learning at its finest, and with practice it translates into all content areas and into real life for everyone involved.”