Academy for Classical Teachers

Join your fellow teachers in an intimate setting to explore the tradition of classical liberal arts education and study under expert scholars and practitioners.

Registration is Open!





Academy for Classical Teachers, School of Athens

About the Academy

The Academy for Classical Teachers (ACT) provides summer professional development classes and seminars for public and private school teachers

who seek to teach in their classrooms according to the principles of a traditional Liberal Arts Education.

ACT is a collaborative initiative of Great Hearts K-12 classical charter schools and the Institute for Classical Education along with partners in institutions of higher education. 

This year’s courses are designed to help teachers dive deeply into content, with an eye toward both theory and practice. Faculty are drawn from our partners in higher education, expert teachers, and scholars who have chosen to teach within the public K-12 arena because of the unique opportunities it affords.

If you are a certified teacher, course hours may be applicable toward required professional development clock hours for re-certification.  

Details & Registration

What: The 2020 Academy for Classical Teachers

When: July 13-31, 2020

Where: Online Only for Summer 2020

How to Register: View the catalog below (or download the PDF course catalog) and register here!
Note: Great Hearts teachers should register from the Faculty Resources Website.
For further questions, please email Paul Weinhold at

These scholars have been selected as Fellows of the Institute for Classical Education for 2020.  Their courses for the Academy for Classical Teachers are based in their areas of research for the Institute.

Robert Jackson, Ph.D
Chief Academic Officer
Great Hearts America
Founding Director, Institute for Classical Education


Matthew Post, Ph.D
Assistant Dean
Braniff Graduate School
University of Dallas


Courses, Schedules, & Cost


July Seminar: Plato’s Republic

Register for the July Republic Seminar Here!

Leader: Benjamin Dickerson, Humane Letters Teacher, Anthem Preparatory Academy

When: July 13-29, Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am (AZ), 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (CST)

Where: Online

Cost: $125

Plato’s Republic is without question one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is difficult to understand Western civilization without engaging with The Republic. It is beautifully written, very accessible, and it is a joy to read and discuss this book. This summer, members of the community will have a special opportunity for an in-depth complete reading and 3-week series of Socratic seminar discussions on this seminal book.

Text: The Republic of Plato, translated by Allan Bloom. Basic Books edition, 1991. (No other translation should be used for this seminar.)

July Seminar: Homer’s Iliad

Register for the July Iliad Here!

Leader: John Paul Poppleton,  Headmaster, Chandler Preparatory Academy

When: July 13-29, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm (AZ), 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (CST)

Where: Online

Cost: $125

Fear, courage, rage, love, selfishness, and greatness of heart are just some of the ingredients of Homer’s epic. Why has this, the West’s first song, sounded throughout all generations? From its origins as an oral poem to scroll, codex, and eventually print, Homer’s Iliad feeds our hearts and enlarges our understanding of what it means to be alive and human. Enjoy a lively seminar as we feast on the epic poem that started it all. Join the great Achilles and wise Odysseus as they sack Troy, revealing the spoils of Ancient Greece and showing that there is no new thing under the sun.

Text: The Iliad, Translation by Robert Fagles, Penguin ISBN: 978-0140275360

Online Courses

In addition to seminars on philosophy and literature, the Academy for Classical Teachers hosts online summer courses led by master classical teachers and scholars with topics pulled from educational philosophy, the Trivium, the Quadrivium, and the Institute for Classical Education’s annual Symposium. Courses meet virtually 2-3 times each week in 2-hour time slots and include interactive elements and resources accessed between sessions.

Philosophy of Education: Ancient Sources

Register for Ancient Sources Here!

Leader: Dr. Robert Jackson, Chief Academic Officer and Founding Director of the Institute for Classical Education

When: July 13-22, Mon., Wed., and Fri. from 9:00 am to 11:00 am (AZ), 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (CST)

Where: Online

Cost: $125

A natural tension exists within the liberal arts, between those who promote the rhetorical tradition of imitation of the masters and those who pursue the philosophical tradition of dialogical inquiry, a la Socrates. From ancient times to the present day, training in the liberal arts has tended to emphasize one of these two traditions, sometimes at the expense of its counterweight. This course will survey the history of the liberal arts through the lenses of oratory and philosophy. As part of a three-year series through the Academy for Classical Teachers, this summer will focus primarily on ancient sources, drawing substantially on source materials from Bruce Kimball’s Orators and Philosophers. As we gain familiarity with primary sources, we will examine the tension that naturally develops between oratory and philosophy, in order to define the full spectrum of the liberal arts: from the philosophical pursuit of truth to the promotion of good persons speaking well.

Reference: Kimball, Bruce. Orators and Philosophers: A History of the Idea of Liberal Education. New York: Teacher’s College, Columbia University, 1986: 293 pages.

Thucydides’s Education in Virtuous Leadership

Register for Thucydides’s Education in Virtuous Leadership Here!

Leader: Dr. Matthew Post, Braniff Graduate School Assistant Dean, University of Dallas

When: July 13-31, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Arizona), 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Central)

Where: Online

Cost: $125

In the opening of his great work examining the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides explains that his labors are intended for future readers “wishing to observe what is clear according the human… for what is past is a neighbor to what will be.” He is famous for debunking our delusions about nobility and justice, for explaining away the gods as fictions useful for social order, and for finally showing how everything comes down to one thing alone: power. In this course, we will indeed consider passages that reveal this side of Thucydides, but there is another side to him. Unlike our great idealists, Thucydides does not seek to cultivate virtue by pretending to live in the world that we want. Rather, he shows us the world as it is and nevertheless finds the subtle and all-too-often overlooked evidence that nobility and justice are real, that the divine may intervene to punish the unjust, and that the prudent leader appreciates not only the efficacy of force, fraud, and violence, but also the strength of real virtue and piety. In other words, Thucydides seeks to educate us to become virtuous adults, people who know how to fight as well as what is worth fighting for.

Text: The Landmark Thucydides.  ISBN: 978-1416590873


Quadrivium: Euclidean Geometry

Register for Euclidean Geometry Here!

Leader: Courtney Gunn, Assistant Headmaster, Great Hearts Monte Vista North

When: July 13-31, Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Arizona), 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Central)

Where: Online

Cost: $125

Euclid’s Elements, a text over two thousand years old and a stalwart of a traditional classical education, is still used in high school geometry today. This course is designed to lead classical teachers of all disciplines and grade levels through the first book of Euclid’s Elements in an exploration of basic triangular geometry, culminating in the proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. Join us for a three-week exercise in authentic mathematics using an original source whose elegance and thoroughness have placed it at the foundation of a classical education for centuries.

The Enigma of Health: Natural Science and the Ensouled Body

Register for the Enigma of Health Here!

Leader: Dr. Michael Ivins, Humane Letters Teacher, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy

When: July 14-30, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Arizona), 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Central)

Where: Online

Cost: $125

In these strange times in which the question of health has been brought so far into the foreground, it is remarkable to think that at the very origins of modern science Descartes could declare that the ultimate aim of his philosophy “was principally the maintenance of health, which,” he says, “is unquestionably the first good and the foundation of all the other goods of this life.” One of the aims of this seminar will be to understand better the relationship between the “good life” and the merely biological life on which it depends.  This will entail a consideration of a variety of views from the history of science which shed light on how the art of healing treats a person as a whole and not merely as a body.

In this continuation of the “Poetic Method” seminar series, we will devote our attention to classic texts in the history of the life sciences including selections from Hippocrates, Galen, the great anatomical artist Vesalius.  Texts from the early modern era will include selections from Descartes’ correspondence with Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia as well as La Mettrie’s provocative Man Machine.  We will also looks at essays by Hans Jonas and Hans-Georg Gadamer for more contemporary philosophical reflections on biology and medicine in antiquity and since the advent of modern science.

This course is designed for Humane Letters teachers wanting to learn more about science, Science teachers wanting to discuss science in a Socratic seminar, and people who just want to enjoy some really great conversation.