Skip to content

Speaking

Christopher speaks regularly at schools, conferences and homeschool conventions.

Christopher is available to speak on various subjects such as:

  • classical philosophy of education
  • developing student/intellectual virtue
  • history of classical education
  • history of progressive education
  • the origin and purpose of classical education
  • classical curriculum development
  • upper school planning and development
  • K-12 classical pedagogy
  • importance and value of Latin
  • importance and value of logic
  • importance and value of rhetoric
  • graduation events
  • parent information events

Here is a list of various seminars Christopher has given, with accompanying descriptions:

RetroACTIVE Education: Reaching Back to Go Forward

Of course we can’t go back in time (as romantic as that sounds), and nor do we want to educate our children using parchment, quill pens and hornbooks.  But we do want to go back in the sense of revisiting and employing the best educational ideas—those that are tried, proven and true.  Going retro, should not mean that we are nostalgic (pining for the old days) or antiquarian (loving things just because they are old), but that we take the best from the past to accelerate in the present.  In this seminar we will look at the ten most important educational ideas from the past that can serve us in the present.  A sample of these ideas includes: singing to learn, delightful repetition, tuning the heart and training the body, loving before critiquing, making haste slowly, less is more.

The Recovery of Contemplation

Like most Americans, classical educators are driven to achieve–and like most Americans we find it hard to make time for sustained thought and reflection. If contemplation and rest are vital aspects of a classical education, do our students have appropriate time to reflect on what they read and to contemplate the great ideas of the Great Conversation? Or do they fly from book to book, class to class and grade to grade? In this seminar we will explore ways we can recover contemplation and leisure among teachers, parents and students in our homes and co-ops.

Revolutionary Latin: Why Latin Will Do Far More Than Increase Your Vocabulary

Latin has been increasingly recognized as a vital part of a well-educated man or woman.  Still, many people are puzzled by the buzz about Latin and want to know just why significant study of Latin is worth the effort.  Why not just study Latin word roots instead of committing to full study of the Latin language? In this seminar I will dive deeper than the traditional answers given for studying Latin (better SAT scores, increased vocabulary, preparation for professional study, preparation of the Romance languages) and explore and demonstrate the profound ways Latin can enrich one’s humanity and revolutionize virtually all learning.  This seminar will feature a hands-on demonstration of the power of Latin by examining the morning newspaper, hearing personal testimonies from students (and parents) who have studied Latin for a year or more, and other exercises.  Time will be given for 15 minutes of Q and A with a panel of Latin students.

Revolutionary Logic: Why Logic Is Needed to Renew The Church And Culture

Many know that logic is the science or art of correct reasoning.  Most of us know that training in logic will help us craft better arguments and discern wise ideas from propaganda. But are we aware that without using reason well, it will be impossible to renew the church and our culture?  In this seminar, we will consider not only the ways that logic sharpens us as image-bearers and individual thinkers, but the way logic can revolutionize the church and society when employed with love, faith and zeal.  We will also note the ways in which the study of logic can lead to pride, and therefore create “clever devils.”  Time will be given for 10 minutes of Q and A.

G. K. Chesterton: The Man Who Laughed

G. K. Chesterton had joy at the center of his being, and like the woman described in Proverbs 31, he could laugh at the days to come.  In this seminar, I explore Chesterton’s life and work, studying the way he found joy and the way that joy led to laughter, good humor and friendship. For those who know Chesterton, they will enjoy noting the centrality of joy in his writings and life; for those who are new to Chesterton, this seminar should be an engaging introduction.  The seminar will follow this outline: 1) Chesterton: The Man Who Took His Mission But Not Himself Seriously  2) Humor at the Center of Things  3) What Makes Even Our Faith Funny  4) Laughter as The Signature of Man  5) Christ as Divine Jester  6) Laughing Again: Overcoming Our Blindness to The Mirth of The Gospel  7) Laughing and Learning: Why Chesterton Laughed Through School  8) A Suggested Bibliography of Chesterton’s Writings COMMENT: I did my PhD dissertation on Paradox in the Apologetic of G. K. Chesterton… and am a Chesterton nut.

Embodied Learning: How to Help Students Love What is Lovely

Learning is certainly a matter of exercising our minds and therefore has a large rational component.  But it is equally true that all that we learn must be pass through our five senses, which makes our bodies a critical element in our education and growth. In our teaching, in what ways do we pay attention to our surroundings and to the rhythms, traditions and practices that shape the way we learn and what we love? In this seminar I will argue that music, art, architecture, play, time in nature, church traditions, household traditions, dress, furniture and scheduling are just as important for the education of our children as the ideas we discuss and teach.  In several ways this seminar will be the application of the insights contained in James K. A. Smith’s recent book Desiring the Kingdom.
A Concise History of Progressive Education: What Was Generally Wrong, But Occasionally Right About Progressive Education
This seminar will trace the history of progressive education, beginning in 1890s with the emergence of several teacher’s colleges that criticized classical learning and advocated a progressive approach that emphasized a differentiated curriculum which divided students according to their likely future occupations.  The seminar will trace the leading thinkers of progressive education from Herbert Spencer (social Darwinism) to G. Stanley Hall (child-centered education) to David Snedden (social efficiency, differentiated curriculum) to John Dewey (democratized education, experiential learning) to Edward L. Thorndike (mental testing) to Edward A. Ross (social efficiency, vocational education).  The seminar will also trace those who sought to defend the classical curriculum and pedagogy and examine their failures and successes.  Finally, the seminar will ask what benefits classical educators can derive from progressive education even as we deflect its attacks and seek to advance Christian education.

Learning to Love What Must Be Done

The German poet Goethe advises, Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.  In this maxim, Goethe succinctly captures a long educational tradition that sought to shape students into lovers—lovers of wisdom and lovers of the work that brings wisdom.   In this seminar, I will explore the ways we can impart diligence, courage, zeal and industry to students—all traits that blossom from a cultivated love for the good, true and beautiful and enable students to thrive and excel.  Starting with Augustine and his exhortation that students order their loves and love that which is lovely, we will look to the tradition of classical education for inspiration and ideas for imparting to students a love for what must be done.  The seminar will conclude with a practical discussion of how this can happen in our contemporary homeschools.

Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces of Classical Education
In this seminar I show how classical education has been broken up into pieces but is now being put together again.  I will explore four questions that will help us gather and assemble the pieces once more: 1) Who is the student (or what is a human being)? 2) What do we teach him (or what is our curriculum?)  3) What is a school? (or what is our learning environment)? 4) What is our purpose (or what kind of student do we seek to shape and why)?  Every educational approach has to answer these questions—for better or worse.  I will seek to show how the classical Christian tradition has answered these questions in ways that can once again restore to us a clear picture of what education can and should be.  Finally, I will contrast the classical approach to the popular progressive approach to education.

How to Be a Teacher, How to Be a Student
In this seminar I depart from Luke 6 (when a student is fully-trained he will be like his teacher) and explore the ways in which a parent-teacher must be like a student and a student must be like a teacher.  The goal of the seminar is to show how the teacher-student relationship is primary and fundamental to all education and must be one of growing friendship and love that will involve mentoring, coaching, sparring and instruction.  Without a healthy teacher-student relationship of this sort, all our educational endeavors will be compromised and suffer.

 

The Lighter Side of Education: How to Relax, Enjoy and Laugh and Still Be a Parent-Educator
In this seminar I seek to work out the maxim give to us by G.K. Chesterton:  A man should take his mission but not himself seriously.  In this workshop I encourage parents to see and cultivate the joy, humor, laughter and peace that should characterize our teaching and relationship with our student-children and home-schooling colleagues.  I will do this first by calling parents to repent of the misplaced gravitas that elevates ourselves over a humble interest and investment in the lives of children.  Secondly, I will call forth examples of the ways in which we can walk lightly as we engage in a most serious enterprise.  I will close by exegeting another complimentary maxim by Chesterton: Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.  COMMENT: I sense that many home-schooling educators are unduly anxious and burdened.  In this seminar I seek to address this challenge from a spiritual-pastoral perspective rather than a pragmatic one.

The Intellectual Virtues

Classical educators throughout the ages always linked the process and aims of education with virtue. This seminar traces the ways in which this linkage developed and explores ways in which we can practically foster the growth of virtues in an academic environment. Some of these virtues include humility, patience, courage, perseverance and the passion and pursuit of truth.  The goal of this seminar is to acquaint parents with the tradition and value of the intellectual virtue and show them how they can practically begin to cultivate these virtues in their children. COMMENT: This seminar works very well as a compliment to the presentations typically offered by Susan Wise Bauer. It attracted a standing-room only crowd in a large room at SHEM, the first time I offered it.

 

Logic 101:

This seminar will introduce the two main branches of logic—informal logic and formal logic and show why they are crucial to a classical education.  Special emphasis will be given to the logical fallacies in this seminar; several fallacies will be taught and participants will try their hand at identifying fallacies contained in numerous print advertisements.  The goal of the seminar is to show the power, purpose and relevance of logic and to convince parents that they can learn and teach this important art to their students.  COMMENT: This is a seminar I have been giving for five years—but it continues to be very well attended wherever I give it, even when repeated at the same convention.

How to Teach Latin in Grades 3-6

In this seminar I give practical advice on how to teach younger students Latin by making use of the unique ways these students learn. I show how using songs, chants, rhymes and jingles help students to memorize and master both grammar and vocabulary with ease and delight. I conduct a survey of the effective Latin curricula for this age group with special emphasis given to Latin for Children and Latina Christiana and leave ample time for questions and answers.  The goal of the seminar to convince parents that they can learn and teach their children Latin and to acquaint parents with effective teaching methods and excellent Latin curricula. COMMENT: This is a seminar I have been giving for five years—but it continues to be very well attended wherever I give it, even when repeated at the same convention.

A New Apology for Classical Christian Education (Alternative Title: Recovering the Classical Tradition of Education)
In this seminar I present a defense of Classical Christian Education that features seven reasons why it is a superb educational approach for our sons and daughters: 1) It provides a coherent means of understanding God, the world and ourselves  2) It cultivates the human  3) It develops and imparts powers (arts) to students  4) It cultivates a love of beauty  5) It develop character   6) It trains leaders  7) It cultivates community.   I will also refute several familiar objections to CCE such as 1) CCE is elitist  2) CCE is old-fashioned and out of touch  3) CCE was discredited by the educational establishment 100 years ago  4) Studying classical subjects like Latin are a waste of time in this cultural moment. The goal of this seminar is to give participants a clear, concise and cogent defense of CCE that presents its remarkable qualities and refutes common objections. COMMENT: I have written an article on this subject for a forth-coming book.

Biography:

Dr. Christopher A. Perrin:  Chris is the publisher with Classical Academic Press, a consultant to classical, Christian schools and the Director of the Classical School Round Table with the Institute for Classical Schools.  Chris has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary and served as headmaster of Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA from its founding in 1997 until 2007.  He received his B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in California and his Ph.D. in Apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.  He was also a special student in literature at St. Johns College in Annapolis.  Chris is the author of the books An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, Greek for Children, and co-author of the Latin for Children series published by Classical Academic Press.  Chris and his wife Christine live in Camp Hill, PA with their three children Zoe, Noelle and Noah.

Contact Information:

Christopher Perrin, Ph.D.

Classical Academic Press

2150 Market Street

Camp Hill, PA  17011

Phone: 717-730-0711

Email: info@classicalsubjects.com

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: