The Examined Life: Hellenic Studies in the Schools


                The Journey Begins...  

Fellows will attend 10 seminar sessions which provide the intellectual foundation for the Examined Life. Each seminar examines important Greek historical and cultural content with the goal of understanding what it means to be human, both for the ancients and for people living today. Fellows will not only be enriched themselves by the content, but will also explore ways in which to translate the ideas and themes of each seminar to their own students.

This program is based on the successful initiative started at Brandeis University. Much of the text derives from the work of Barbara Harrison for that program. All seminar sessions held at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey unless otherwise noted.

Seminars meet Wednesday 6-9 PM unless otherwise noted.



 ·     Welcome.  Origins, Beliefs and Moral Ethics of the Ancient Greeks

January 9th, 2013

Examine the moral ethics as they are presented in the Iliad, comparing our modern world view to that of the pagan world, and discuss cultural and religious diversity in our own society.  Look at friendship and anger and how they are reflected in the lives of the children we teach.

·     Did the Greeks Invent History?

February 6th, 2013

Through selected passages of Herodotus consider what is worthy of the historical record.  How can we judge historical accuracy?  Who are history makers then and now?

·     Education and the Art of Teaching:  Plato’s Socrates and the Moral Fables of Aesop

February 20th, 2013

See how Plato’s Socrates can turn his interlocutors into examining and examined beings.  What are the apparent and at times hidden structures that allow for an understanding of Plato’s vision of the Socratic art of teaching?  See how to use Aesop’s fables for class exercises.

·     Greek Art & Archeology:  Schliemann at Troy & Mycenae; Evans at Knossos; Classical Tradition in Art & Architecture

March 6th, 2013

Look at the early pioneers in Greek archeology, what they found, why they found it, and what impact it had on their times and later archeologists.  Also, major Greek artworks—types and uses and the influence of classical art and architecture on later centuries.

·     Greek Art at the UPenn Museum of Art and Archaeology

March 20th, 2013 (Saturday)

Tour the Classical collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Art and Archaeology in Philadelphia.  See the themes of the Iliad and Odyssey come alive in ancient art.  Gather information for a potential field trip for your students.

· ·  ·     Study Tour to Greece (Thursday, March 28th – Sunday evening, April 7th, 2013)

Carefully selected ancient Greek sites, which were featured in the texts read during the year, will provide the archaeological and historical background to the texts.

·     The Greeks and Women

April 17th, 2013

The Greeks were notoriously harsh in their treatment of women.  Discuss Sappho, Antigone and Medea and the role of women.  What were the contributions of women in ancient Greek society?  How does that compare to today?

·     The Journey Home

May 1st, 2013

Odysseus’ fantastic journey home and the struggle he faces when he arrives raise questions about the meaning of home, growing up and leaving home, our inherent need ultimately to return home, and what life is like when one is truly homeless.

·     Participant Reports and Modern Reworking of Classical Drama

May 15th (Wednesday) or May 18th (Saturday), 2013

Explore and create ways to connect ancient Greek culture and civilization to contemporary Western culture in the curricula of schools.  Discuss Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes ElectraParticipants will give short reports.

·     Presentations and Reception of New Fellows

November 27 (Wednesday) or December 30 (Saturday), 2013

Fellows will share their knowledge and enthusiasm with each other and the newly inducted Fellows as they present their completed curricular projects.

(Note: NJCCCS refers to section taken directly from the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards)