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Thursday, October 17 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
A New Approach to Humanities in the Lower and Middle Schools, Part 3, Room A-122

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A Morning of Humanities
This morning will introduce aspects of a new approach to language arts and the humanities in elementary and middle school. Matt Berman and Pete Bowers collaborate on three sessions about language arts, humanities, word study, and how they all interact and work together in the classroom. In this way participants get to see how structured word inquiry (SWI; Bowers & Kirby, 2010) can be integrated into any subject area with brief organic investigations that will come up in sessions on history, philosophy, grammar, vocabulary, etc.; and how explicit SWI lessons make such learning possible.

PART 3: Philosophy in the Classroom 
In this third session we will briefly talk about Constructing the Universe (an integrated approach to Humanities and Math), then focus on Philosophy. Philosophy? Yes! Just as important as language skills is students' ability to use those skills to communicate clearly and think for themselves critically, logically, and creatively. How can they learn to make sense of the onslaught of information overload that is part of their daily lives? How can they learn to make their way through the misleading and manipulative minefield that our national discourse has become? What an increasingly out-of-control world needs is a generation that grows up learning to think, write, and converse critically, clearly, rationally, and sensibly. This session will give a brief overview, with resources for further investigation, of an integrated and perception-altering approach to the humanities that combines reading, writing, and history with philosophy, ethics, and logic — an approach that uses the techniques of Design Thinking, provides a new language for SEL, and allows students to begin to sharpen their critical faculties to make sense of what they read, see, and hear.

Wednesday & Thursday Slate
avatar for Matt Berman

Matt Berman

Teacher Emeritus / Founding Director of the Nueva Center for the Humanities, The Nueva School
Recipient of the NEH Teacher-Scholar Award, Matt has been an elementary school teacher for more than 40 years, with certification in gifted education and degrees in education and philosophy for children. A nationally recognized expert in children’s literature, Matt has written four... Read More →


Thursday October 17, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm
Nueva Hillsborough Campus 6565 Skyline Boulevard, Hillsborough, CA 94010