Joelle Hodge: Classical Academic Press VP Sales, Marketing & Operations, Scholé Academy Director, Author, Consultant: Joelle holds a BA in history/political science from Messiah College and is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Eastern University, at the Templeton Honors College. She began her career as a staffer to United States Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa) before finding her professional home in the world of classical education in 1999. She has twenty years of teaching experience—several of which were spent at a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There she also developed much of their logic and rhetoric curricula. She has co-authored two logic books, The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies and The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic, both published by Classical Academic Press (CAP), and continues to support various editorial projects at CAP, but her primary focus is on the growth and development of Classical Academic Press and Scholé Academy.
The master art of rhetoric seeks to prepare students to “observe all the available means” of persuasion, enabling students to more easily master every kind of writing, from analytical reports to argumentative essays. Sadly, many high school educators seek only to have their students write longer papers, with long lists of resources and citations (and decent grammar), and call that “higher-level” work. The truth is, however, long papers merely addressing “the who, what, when, and where” do not prepare students for good, college-level writing. The study of rhetoric surpasses the limited training of the high school “research paper” by studying how to collect the best ideas and resources for a thesis (invention), how to arrange ideas and evidence in a compelling way (arrangement), and how to adapt the most engaging language to communicate those ideas (style). In this seminar, we will survey other important kinds of rhetoric-inspired writing beyond the research paper, such as exploratory essays, deliberative essays, and argumentative papers, all of which will help students become versatile writers prepared for all types of college writing assignments. The seminar will also address the value of peer review and collaboration and ways the teacher can serve as a writing coach. The seminar will conclude by noting some of the best curricula and internet resources available for teaching rhetoric-based writing to high school students.
Now more than ever it seems our culture is in need of thoughtful, reasoned discourse and argument. Far from being merely an academic subject, logic brings clarity to our own thinking and also enables us to engage with ideas across disciplines, media, and culture. Sometimes teaching students how to think can seem like a daunting, abstract, nebulous exercise. During this seminar, we will introduce and discuss the best pedagogical practices for teaching logic to middle and high school students; we will also suggest ways that new teachers of logic can best prepare for teaching this important art. We will consider four aspects of reasoned, logical thinking: (1) how to develop a personal, internal dialogue; (2) learning what the “right” questions are and how to ask them; (3) learning to discern the real issues at the heart of complex discussions; and (4) how to avoid falling prey to the irrelevant, presumptive, and unclear fallacies that cloud so many conversations, discussions, and debates. The seminar will feature several examples of logical fallacies and provide other pertinent resources for teaching logic well, including ways of incorporating “capstone” projects to culminate a year of teaching logic.