It is well known that the best education experiences occur outside of the classroom’s walls. One philosophy teacher, Mr. Bradley Horan, has found a way to give his grade 12 students an out-of-classroom experience without having to leave. How does a trip to Ancient Greece sound?
Once a month, students at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Bradford will witness a parade of grade 12 philosophy students parading down the hallways dressed in togas and adorned with laurels, on the way to the monthly Philosophy Symposium. There, students sit in the candlelight, feasting on grapes and cheese, drinking wine (a.k.a cranberry juice), and discussing matters, ranging from gender issues to the meaning of life to the existence of aliens. For many students, this event may seem mortifying, but for Mr. Horan’s philosophy class, all opinions are respected and listened to equally.
This month’s symposium began with a ponderous question, as always.
“Why do we fear losing things that we don’t have?” The question was posed by Laura, who is sitting at the end of the table in a toga and laurel. Quickly, answers are given, points debated, and conclusions drawn. “If you’re any less free, does that make you any less happy?” wonders Andrew. The discussion drifts from the meaning of true freedom to euthanasia to abortion. If an especially poignant point is made, people declare, “veritas”, meaning truth in Latin.
At the end of class, everyone helps to clean the table up, and they pose for a very academic-looking picture on the desks. They all go to the washrooms to change, remarking about what a deep and meaningful discussion was carried out during this symposium.
Philosophy class with Mr. Horan can be complex, difficult, and even at some times, controversial. However, no matter the student, everyone can agree on one thing: this is the class where you will find the most room to grow in.