Shimer College

Graduate Teaching Program

You are a teacher who is committed to your own professional development because you are committed to your students.

Now you have the opportunity to join a dedicated group of colleagues engaged in content-rich graduate education through Shimer College’s discussion based program for teachers.

This unique academic format will return you to your students ready to help them to form, articulate, and explain their own ideas in any discipline. The Teaching Fellows Program offers you the tools to transform your students into enthusiastic learners happily engaged in original and critical thinking and exciting, meaningful classroom discussions.

You will focus on a central “original source” and discuss all aspects of it in a seminar composed of ten to fourteen other teachers who are just as committed to their students as you are to yours. You all learn from one another and from the original source document that you are studying. Each class participant is responsible for the discussion as a whole. You will pose questions, critically examine the ideas of others, monitor the flow and focus of the conversation, and gain the ability to appreciate the positions of the other participants even when you might disagree with them.

The Shimer College faculty is responsible for facilitating your inquiry in order for the discussion to reach the greatest possible depth. The professor will bring to the discussion a critical understanding of original source documents along with vast experience in guiding seminars.

Source Documents

Euclid. Plato. Shakespeare. Newton. Sojourner Truth. Einstein. These are among the sources—the voices—in your conversation. It’s a conversation that asks fundamental questions about human life. What do we know and how do we know it? What is the nature of freedom, of education? It’s a conversation you will continue with your own students in your own classroom.

When you read these original source documents, these Great Books, you will be reading works that are essential to understanding the issues we face today. What makes them essential and relevant is that they show us how the greatest minds of Western civilization confronted problems and questions. By learning not just what the greatest minds thought, but how they thought, you develop a deeper understanding of the process of education—of drawing out from your students their ability to think, analyze problems, and act intelligently.