Writer, historian, and educator
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Well-Trained Mind Press, a small press (distributed by W. W. Norton) that publishes K12 resources for teaching in the classical tradition.
Owner, Well-Trained Mind Learning Services, an educational consultancy
Member of the faculty, College of William and Mary, 1994-2012.
Board, The Clemente Course in the Humanities, www.clementecourse.org
Advisory Board, Education & Culture: A Critical Review, www.educationandculture.org
Contributing Editor, Comment, www.cardus.ca/comment
- Ph.D. in American Studies, College of William and Mary in Virginia, 2007
Concentrations in nineteenth-century American literature and the history of American religion
- M.A. in English Language and Literature, College of William & Mary, 1996
Concentrations in 17th-century literature and translation theory
- M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1991
Concentration in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature
- B.A. in English Language and Literature with Greek minor, 1988
Current Topics of Interest:
History and politics
- How our understanding of the immune system affects our perception of the world around us
- The connection between medical advances and cultural change; the interplay between our sense of physical vulnerability and our willingness to take social risks
- The rise of slavery before the Atlantic slave trade began
- Religious rhetoric in secular American politics
- The struggles of women in the contemporary world of American conservative religion
- The possibility of doing world history: telling a narrative that makes sense and encompasses the entire world
- Neo-classical education: recovering the standards and skills of classical education for modern schooling
- Nontraditional educational paths
- The responsibility (and rights) of parents to take on the role of teaching children at home when their school options have failed
- Self-education for adults through reading the classics in literature, history, and politics
- Learning and teaching the basics of good writing, grammar, and persuasive argumentation
- Teaching world history on both on the college and secondary school level
- Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education. W. W. Norton, 2018.
- The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, fourth ed. W. W. Norton, 2016 (previous editions 2009, 2004, 1999).
- The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, revised and updated edition, W. W. Norton, 2015.
- The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory. Â W. Norton, 2015. (Previously published as The Story of Science.)
- The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople. W. W. Norton, 2013.
- The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade. W. W. Norton, 2010.
- The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America. Princeton University Press, 2008.
- Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind: A Complete Course for Young Writers, Aspiring Rhetoricians, and Anyone Else Who Needs to Understand How English Works. Well-Trained Mind Press, 2018. A four-year series for middle and high school.
- The Complete Writer: Writing With Skill. Well-Trained Mind Press, 2015. A three-year pre-rhetoric program.
- The Complete Writer: Writing with Ease. Well-Trained Mind Press, 2009. A four-year elementary expository writing program.
- The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child. Well-Trained Mind Press, 2008. A four-volume narrative world history for grades 1-6, along with accompanying teaching guides, tests, and supplementary materials.
Representative College Courses Taught
- British Literature Survey I and British Literature Survey II
- American Literature: Themes and Issues
- American Literature, 1865-1920
- Literature and the Bible
- Introduction to Creative Writing
- Advanced Expository Writing
- Creative Writing: Fiction
- Advanced Workshop in Fiction Writing
Representative Public Lectures
- A Plan for Teaching Writing, Grades K-12
- Neo-Classical Education: A Pattern for Modern Educators
- Teaching the Real Child: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Learning
- Parenting the “Good Kids” and the Odd Ones Out
- The Club Sandwich Generation
- Eating Meat with Compassion
- Grovel or Accuse: The Two Ages of Politics
- Anti-Vaxxers and the Medical Establishment: How Medical Science Laid the Groundwork for Skepticism
- Creationism and Climate Deniers: Where They Came From, and Why They Matter
- A Walk through Ancient History: A One-Day Seminar
- A Walk through Medieval History: A One-Day Seminar
- A Walk through the Worldwide Renaissance: A One-Day Seminar
- The Age of Human Capital
- The History of Science, From Aristotle to Quantum Physics: A One-Day Seminar
- Educating Yourself in the Classical Tradition: A One-Day Seminar
Lectures have been presented at the Smithsonian, the National Montessori Convention, the Royal Society of the Arts (London), the Midwest Educators Convention, the Florida Parent-Educator Association, and elsewhere.
Representative Workshops Given at Educational Conferences
- Rethinking School
- An Introduction to Classical Education
- Teaching Students to Work Independently
- Homeschooling the Real (Distractable, Impatient, Argumentative, Unenthusiastic, Non-Book-Loving, Inattentive, Poky, Vague) Child
- A Plan for Teaching Writing
- What is Literary Analysis? When, Why, and How Should I Teach It?
- What Is History? Why Should I Teach It?
- How to Read a Book (With Apologies to Adler)
- Sane College Admissions
- A Hands-On Seminar: Basic Literary Criticism
- A Hands-On Seminar: Constructing an Argument
- Educating Ourselves: How to Teach Ourselves
Workshops have been presented at many state education conventions; among them, the conventions sponsored by the Utah Home Educators Association, the Home Educators Association of Virginia, the Washington Homeschool Association, the Home Education Association of California, the Long Island/New York Home Schooling Convention, the Arizona for Home Schooling Families Convention, the Southeastern Homeschool Expo, and others.