The Examined Life
The Examined Life is an educational program that aims to bring the Socratic call to Know Thyself (gnothi s’auton) to the nation’s schools. Its goal is to capture the life and ideals of ancient Greece and integrate them into the curricular goals of classroom teaching.
Note: This page contains information about the Examined Life program from previous years. While we hope to offer the Examined Life in the future, the program is currently on hiatus.
For additional inquiries involving this or other ICHS programs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fellows attended 10 seminar sessions which provided the intellectual foundation for the Examined Life. Each seminar examined important Greek historical and cultural content with the goal of understanding what it means to be human, both for the ancients and for people living today. Fellows were not only enriched by the content, but also explored ways in which to translate the ideas and themes of each seminar to their own students.
This program was based on the successful initiative started at Brandeis University. Much of the text derived from the work of Barbara Harrison for that program. All seminar sessions were held at Stockton Univeristy unless otherwise noted.
January 9th, 2013
Examine the moral ethics as they are presented in the Iliad, comparing our modern world view to that of the pagan world, and discuss cultural and religious diversity in our own society. Look at friendship and anger and how they are reflected in the lives of the children we teach.
February 6th, 2013
Through selected passages of Herodotus consider what is worthy of the historical record. How can we judge historical accuracy? Who are history makers then and now?
February 20th, 2013
See how Plato’s Socrates can turn his interlocutors into examining and examined beings. What are the apparent and at times hidden structures that allow for an understanding of Plato’s vision of the Socratic art of teaching? See how to use Aesop’s fables for class exercises.
March 6th, 2013
Look at the early pioneers in Greek archeology, what they found, why they found it, and what impact it had on their times and later archeologists. Also, major Greek artworks—types and uses and the influence of classical art and architecture on later centuries.
March 20th, 2013 (Saturday)
Tour the Classical collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Art and Archaeology in Philadelphia. See the themes of the Iliad and Odyssey come alive in ancient art. Gather information for a potential field trip for your students.
Carefully selected ancient Greek sites, which were featured in the texts read during the year, will provide the archaeological and historical background to the texts.
April 17th, 2013
The Greeks were notoriously harsh in their treatment of women. Discuss Sappho, Antigone and Medea and the role of women. What were the contributions of women in ancient Greek society? How does that compare to today?
May 1st, 2013
Odysseus’ fantastic journey home and the struggle he faces when he arrives raise questions about the meaning of home, growing up and leaving home, our inherent need ultimately to return home, and what life is like when one is truly homeless.
May 15th (Wednesday) or May 18th (Saturday), 2013
Explore and create ways to connect ancient Greek culture and civilization to contemporary Western culture in the curricula of schools. Discuss Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra. Participants will give short reports.
November 27 (Wednesday) or December 30 (Saturday), 2013
Fellows will share their knowledge and enthusiasm with each other and the newly inducted Fellows as they present their completed curricular projects.
Alice McEnerney Cook
Faith C. DeLany
Mary Lou Breidenstine
Meghan P. Lowe
Robynn Colleen Thorne
Shannon Kelly McKittrick