The Riveting Renaissance: Socratic Method Course



The Renaissance was an explosion of ideas, education, and literacy. In this interactive course, we will study the start of the Renaissance to Elizabethan England through slideshows, in-class research, videos, and Socratic-Style discussion designed to encourage inquiry.



Meets for one hour once per week for 12 weeks.

The Socratic Method is at the heart of critical thinking, and is a powerful tool to inspire students to take a deep interest in their own enthusiastically willful education and thriving in life. This helps students become more attentive and thoughtful as a matter of their natural character. Simply put, I will present specific information and ask certain questions that encourage your child to probe deeper and learn more. My classes are not lectures and are highly discussion-driven. The act of asking questions and seeking answers is fundamental to all human creativity and willful living. Experiences of inquiry fill our days no matter what job we have, where we live, or whether or not we have ever heard of the Socratic method. Inquiry richly colors the fabric of how our minds work. Inquiry is the workhorse of the sapience. The Socratic method directly addresses the need of students to exercise their experience and love of asking and answering questions. In the context of daily learning, the Socratic method is a productive way to stoke the fertile fire that is human curiosity.

You can read more about this here:

Knowledge of the Middle Ages (such as my Middle Ages course!) is helpful.

This is a structured, organized, and tested course that will include written and media components and is designed to give learners a comprehensive understanding of the history of these events. As we go through the course, there are study guides provided for each portion that require answers to questions to ensure comprehension. This comprehensive course covers the complete Italian Renaissance from the beginning to Elizabethan England. Each class will have both a written and oral component, and I’ll share videos and Powerpoint presentations via screenshare in zoom to aid in learning. Each class will also have opinion-based activities, like “creating” a page from Da Vinci’s notebook after viewing his Codex. Some classes will have homework. Classes will each be 40-50 minutes in length.

Anticipated Course Outline

Class 1: Introduction and the Italian Renaissance; excerpt read aloud-Boccaccio: The Decameron
Class 2: Introduction and the Italian Renaissance: Part 2; Homework: view Da Vinci’s World: Engineering an Empire (I will provide links) , and complete slotted notes
Class 3: Renaissance Artists and Paintings
Class 4: Literature and Shakespeare
Class 5: The Spread of the Renaissance Northward (homework assigned)
Class 6: Technological Advancements of the Renaissance
Class 7: The Early Reformers (homework assigned)
Class 8: Martin Luther’s 95 Theses (homework assigned)
Class 9: King Henry VIII (homework assigned)
Class 10: The Counter Reformation and Council of Trent
Class 11: Linking it Together/Review (homework assigned)
Class 12: Multiple Choice assessment and Essay


This course is not yet scheduled. Please submit a request.