Upper-School Classics of Christendom Literature
Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 11–12
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Section 1: M/W 12:30 p.m. ET with Rhea Bright
History/Literature Discount: Save $195 when you enroll in this course and the corresponding history course! The discount will be applied automatically to your shopping cart when you add both courses.
Joint Enrollment: This course is offered as a joint-enrollment class between Scholé Academy and St. Raphael School. Students from both schools are welcome and encouraged to enroll in this dynamic upper-level course.
New Placement Process: Click to Read
- if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
- if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
- if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
- if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
- If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
This course introduces high school students to some of the great literary texts of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation which have influenced the development of both Christian culture and the secular West. While studying these texts, students explore the ideas, events, and figures that molded societies, arts, and ideas from the Middle Ages through the Reformation.
While this course focuses on literature, it also integrates medieval and Renaissance history in order to place the literature in the context from which it emerges and thus understand the author’s purpose more fully. Students are required to examine these texts for their wisdom and virtue, noting the ways in which the author’s ideas interact with those of others and contribute to what we call Western civilization.
Occasionally, the teacher will present historical context through brief lectures, but otherwise classes are seminar-style discussions on the classical texts. Students are assessed for their interest, participation, and diligence during discussions, as well as by means of short response papers and essays.
This class is paired with our high school course classics of Christendom history, taught by the same teacher and scheduled back to back with that course in a “block.” Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as a standalone history study.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
This course is suitable for rising 11th–12th graders. Students are expected to have strong reading and writing skills as well as the interest and capacity for engaging in discussion about literature and history. Students enrolling in this course are expected to:
- Read at or above a 10th-grade level
- Compose paragraphs and basic essays with confidence
- Use a planner and track assignment progress
- Listen, take notes, and be willing to engage in group discussions (extroversion not required!)
- Type sufficiently well to transcribe paragraphs without frustration
- Possess basic computer skills—browsing, accessing assignments, scanning, emailing, and managing files without significant help from parents
- Have some exposure to medieval history and taken a course in the Great Books of antiquity
Syllabus: View course syllabus here.
How much time will students spend on homework?
This varies by student according to his or her pace. However, students are generally assigned about 1.5–2.5 hours of reading each week. Additional time may be required to supplement their own studying and paper or project development.
How does this course compare to the middle-school medieval literature course?
The chief differences between the middle-school and upper-school levels for this course are noted below. While there will be some overlap of content taught, the upper-school course will be much more challenging and assume a more mature student with more background knowledge and greater reading, writing, and scholarship facility.
How is faith integrated with these courses?
These seminar-style discussions unfold organically. One could approach the texts with a focus on defensive critiques of classical authors. By contrast, we seek to read charitably. We treat classic authors as if they were friends, gleaning every available truth while also examining them from a robustly Christian perspective.
At Scholé Academy, we have carefully considered how we should engage our contemporary culture as those who believe that Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and that all truth has its source in him. We think it is important to provide our upper-school students (in grades 7–12) with tools and opportunities for critically examining various cultural trends, issues, and mores through the lens of orthodox, Christian beliefs. Being confident in the truth revealed to us in creation, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the Church, we are not afraid to follow the truth and its implications nor to address error and falsehood. Read more about our Faith & Culture.
*Required Texts (translations, editions, and ISBNs will be finalized and posted by April 2020):
Students will need the posted translation and ISBN. They will require printed texts (no digital editions). They will need their own text (not a family library copy) as they will be expected to annotate and mark up the text. If you think you have a version that is substantially the same and would like to check, feel free to contact the instructor.
- Boethius, On the Consolation of Philosophy
- Dante, The Divine Comedy
- Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
- Shakespeare, Hamlet
- Shakespeare, Macbeth
- Shakespeare, Sonnets
- Milton, Paradise Lost
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.
Rhea Bright holds a BA from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and an MA in classics from Dalhousie University, also in Halifax. Her classical studies involved Latin and Greek, as well as classical and medieval literature, philosophy, and theology. King’s Foundation Year Program, an early integrated Great Books curriculum, and the Dalhousie classics department formed and nurtured what became a lifelong love of the classics and a deep appreciation of the contribution of the ancient world to whatsoever is good and true and beautiful. She also has a Bachelor of Education from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Rhea taught ancient and medieval humanities at the University of Central Oklahoma for 9 years, and over the course of 10 years at Providence Hall and the Academy of Classical Christian Studies, she taught Latin, logic, Bible, and integrated ancient literature and history. Rhea is married to Father Patrick Bright, an ordained Anglican priest who served for over 24 years at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City and recently retired from full-time ministry. Together they raised 5 sons, now grown. They now live in a 170-year-old house in rural Nova Scotia.
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.