A teacher's role is to provoke
thought not to foster comfort
We recognize that, as parents, you're tasked with preparing your child for an age of uncertainty & volatility. Invest wisely in an education that goes beyond short-term memorization, hyper-specialization, and the imprudent yet prevalent methodology of 'teaching-to-the-test'.
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 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 TikTok, IG, X etc. 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, our second point of contact with Artificial Intelligence.
We’ve spent nearly a decade developing a program that focuses on helping students in the transition between high-school and university. We specialize in seminar-style classes. 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 possible return on your investment in your child's post-secondary education, it’s essential to start early. Our classes accommodate students as young as grade ten. However, we also work with students who are in the process of deciding on their major subject(s) of study in university. We've discovered that this creates a unique and constructive learning environment, offering organic opportunities for peer-mentorship.
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.
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.
SOCIETY & INNOVATION
The Science Society and Innovation program is designed for young leaders who aspire toward a career in medicine, engineering, or natural & applied science. The four directed-reading seminars on offer: (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 ChatGPT, Google, Wikipedia, Coursera etc. 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? Teachers are there to make students think, and to help them acclimate to the questions for which there are no easy 'ChatGPT-answers'.
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
"It is useful to remember that history is to the nation as memory is to the individual. As a person deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where they have been or where they are going; so a nation denied a conception of the past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future." Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.