Students: Are you prepared to face the political correctness and collectivist majority at school with calm confidence, essential knowledge, and excellent reasoning skills? If you’d like more of all three, join us for “The Great Connections” Seminar, starting July 18 and running until July 25 in Chicago for young adults aged 16 to 24.
In the program, Ayn Rand’s epistemological approach is embedded into everything so that students learn to think for themselves powerfully and knowledgeably, and learn to consistently connect the abstract with the practical. How is this accomplished?
Students study classic works with civilization-changing import, such as excerpts from Aristotle’s On the Soul, Jefferson’s Letter on A Central Bank, and Rand’s Philosophical Detection, via a specialized discussion method called Socratic Practice in which reason is the only authority.
As educator and author Michael Strong explains in this Atlasphere article, Socratic Practice significantly improves a student’s cognitive skills, often raising his or her SAT scores by 100 points per year of schooling. One inner-city student’s cognitive skills scores were raised from the 1st percentile to the 84th in four months by learning this method.
As one of last year’s students explains, the result of Socratic Practice is knowing “what the true definition of a 'second hander' is." How important it is for my life’s development to be able to read, understand, and reason about the classic texts from their own words – not from a lecturer’s understanding of them.” In other words, students gain the ability to understand anything first-hand, no matter how difficult.
These seminars enable participants to dissect and comprehend the ideas they encounter — and knowledgably defend themselves against the collectivist onslaught most will experience at high school or college.
Additionally, “The Great Connections” seminar has a special, conscious focus on examining the objective basis of any subject, from physics to poetry. Poetry is usually considered “subjective” in its meaning, yet in the seminar on poetry, students will study the principles by which to determine which ideas in the poem are exactly expressed and which are implied — and in how many different ways. Seeking to connect the feelings and implications of the poem into an integrated whole, students will work to carefully identifying what is objectively in the poem and what they, as individuals, bring to the experience of it.
Professor Milo Schield will fortify the students’ grasp of objectivity with his presentation on the process of scientific induction, and Professor Stephen Hicks will help students examine post-modernism and objectivity in art.
And students will have a lot of fun doing it! For example, last year, we discussed an essay by the Austrian economist Carl Menger while sitting in an outdoor plaza, amidst the magnificent skyscrapers of Chicago. We connected his principles of free trade with the stunning architectural achievements of the city, examining what made Chicago rise like a phoenix from the ashes of its 1871 fire. (left photo)
Then we appreciated the skyscrapers even more from Oak Street beach off Lake Shore Drive (right photo), made from the sand dunes dismantled to build the Gary, Indiana steel works. Touring the architecture and art of the city, and dancing and listening to music in Millennium Park surrounded by skyscrapers, add to the connections students construct as they talk about what makes a grand city possible.
The Montessori philosophy of individualization, awareness of developmental needs, and freedom of exploration underpins the entire program. As a consequence, each student gets lots of individual attention, including a personal discussion with the instructors about aspirations, interests, and career goals — a favorite activity of last year’s students.
And, to broaden students’ professional knowledge, they meet with successful professionals in finance, medicine, entrepreneurship, and free-market advocacy, including Capitalist Pig Asset Manager Jonathan Hoenig and University of Chicago medical researcher, Dr. William Dale.
You can watch last year’s students talk about their experience here.
Empowering as many young people as possible with the intellectual ammunition to achieve their goals and face today’s ideological and political conflicts with moral certainty, sharpened thinking skills, and essential knowledge is our aim. We’re hoping readers will forward this information to students or their parents as soon as possible.
To read a complete description of the program and the accomplished people from whom students will learn, click here. You can see the entire schedule here. New scholarship funds are available and a few spaces are left in the program.
Marsha Familaro Enright is an educational entrepreneur, psychologist, writer, and lecturer. Marsha’s latest venture is the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute, the Foundation for the College of the United States. Twenty years ago, she founded the thriving Council Oak Montessori School in Chicago.