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An evening rainbow over the New England campus! An evening rainbow over the New England campus

At this morning’s class, the students of the 2019 New England High School Great Books Program discussed Sophocles’ Antigone, considering the perennial conflict between individual conscience and obedience to civil laws. Then, before heading to lunch, they came to Palmer Hall to pose for a group photo as well as photos of their class sections:

Dr. Froula’s section Dr. Froula’s section

Dr. Hughes’ section Dr. Hughes’ section

Dr. Shivone’s section Dr. Shivone’s section

At a lunch of beef and noodles, students continued their discussion of Antigone, specifically the question: Is Antigone character rash? At one table, where students sat with tutors Dr. Margaret Hughes and Dr. Paul Shields, they also contemplated the nature of the Discussion Method. Dr. Shields described the method as a “three-dimensional” pedagogy involving the tutor, the student, and his peers — as distinct from the “two-dimensional” pedagogy of lecturing, wherein the student interacts only with the lecturer. One of the high school students reported that she found this three-dimensional learning more dynamic, that she is challenged, and forced to grow in her thinking, when peers put forth arguments that contradict her own.

After lunch the students moved on to their second class, a discussion of the pre-Socratic philosophers, particularly how Empedocles, Democritus, and Epicurus understood eternity and the origins of the natural world. Their conversation should make for some intriguing comparisons with the subject of tomorrow’s class, the Book of Genesis.

But first, students can look forward to tonight’s post-curfew dorm parties — come back Wednesday for details!