What is a “Great” Books program? What makes a book “great”? Why do some books seem to remain popular even if they were written 2800 years ago? Why is the study of the “classics” often called the “humanities”? What does it mean to practice the “liberal” arts?
At St. Peter’s, we are committed to Catholic identity. This means that we not only provide religious instruction, but that we cultivate an authentically Catholic curriculum in both content and instructional methodology. Crucial to the fulfillment of this mission is the fusion of faith and culture- to equip all of our students with cultural literacy to understand the foundations of our post-modern culture by means of the lens of our Catholic faith, to cultivate a love of virtue, and to learn powerful lessons from our history.
Aside from religious instruction, there is no greater way to do this then to do so by a love of good, classical literature that is consistent with a Catholic worldview. A Great Books program empowers students in all these dimensions and allows literature to come alive in the imagination of students. In a truly Great Books approach, the powers of the soul are cultivated beyond merely providing information: the imagination, the memory, the intellect/understanding are all strengthened through dramatic reading, discussion, and a range of other instructional methods.
We are pleased that for the 2017-2017 school year, the teachers will be incorporating a reading of the classics within the actual ELA curriculum in a manner consistent with newly revised Diocesan requirements. While we will no longer feature a “Great Books” special class, teachers will be reading many classics within the class with their students. Parents of teachers grades 6-8 should review course syllabi for Honors and Regular Literature classes for more information on the selections for the current school year.