We offer seminar-style classes (15 students maximum).
The renowned media theorist, Neil Postman, observed that our young people are now chiefly educated by the screen; they no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other, they no longer exchange ideas, they exchange images. Our young people now enter university having read remarkably little. According to the American Psychological Association, the average adolescent reads just eight minutes per day. If you can’t read, you can’t think, and if you can’t think, you can’t expect to be a productive member of society.
What caused the problem? The human brain is designed for seeking. When we are in ‘search mode’, the brain releases dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter that makes seeking its own reward. In the past, being in search mode helped us to survive, to innovate, and to build culture. Today, being in search mode assumes that you can navigate the attention maximization business models of Facebook, TikTok & IG. What is more, being productive whilst in search mode now assumes the moral character and the integrity to make use of predictive language models like ChatGPT - i.e. the second, after social media, point of contact with AI.
We’ve spent the better part of a decade developing a program that focuses on the transition between high-school and university. We specialize in seminar-style classes (15 students maximum). In a face-to-face seminar, there is no screen to hide behind, there is no crowd to hide behind. Each class incorporates three basic organizing principles: (i) active reading (ii) cognitive autonomy and (iii) the spirit of reverence.
In order to get the best return on your investment in your post-secondary education, it’s essential to start early. Our classes accommodate students as young as grade ten. We work with students all the way up to who are in the process of deciding on their major subject(s) of study in university.
Our program stands on two academic pillars. In Philosophy, Politics & Economics we look ‘back’ to the lessons of history and kindle the desire to achieve high-level literacy. In Science, Society & Innovation, we look 'forward' to the future, beyond the horizon, and summon the call to high-level numeracy. The direction of study in each pillar is a reflection of the distinction between the humanities and the sciences. We believe that 21st-century literacy requires a balance between literacy & numeracy - i.e. between the lessons of the past and the lessons that promote innovation. Hence the symbol of our institute is the Roman god Janus.
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS & ECONOMICS
The Philosophy, Politics & Economics program is designed for young leaders who aspire toward a professional career in business, law, industry or the civil service. There are four basic directed-reading seminars on offer in PPE: (i) the art of critical thinking; (ii) civic education; (iii) the western canon; (iv) cultural literacy.
SCIENCE, SOCIETY & INNOVATION
The Science Society & Innovation program is designed for young leaders who aspire toward a career in medicine, engineering, or natural & applied science. There are four basic directed-reading seminars on offer in SSI: (i) science and ethics; (ii) the history of science; (iii) relationship to technology; (iv) media studies.
What should learners learn and how? We’re constantly analyzing how students learn best and what they need to study in the context of the twenty-first century. Our young people now exist in an era of technological advancement, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It is essential that they prepare for the 21st century, not the 20th century.
Teachers are not there to make you feel comfortable, they are there to make you think. In the past, the role of the teacher was to provide all the answers. Today, between Google, Wikipedia, Coursera and Khan Academy, students can get the answers to most questions by way of an internet connection. So what’s the role of the teacher in the twenty-first century? In short, teachers are there to make students think, and to help them acclimate to the questions for which there are no easy 'Google' answers.