School Chairperson: Dr. Stuart Patterson
The Shimer Great Books School at North Central College provides and preserves education centered on discussion of enduring questions and issues. Here, the pedagogy is anything but conventional. There are no lectures. No textbooks in place of primary texts. No tests. Classes follow the Socratic Method—professors ask questions that challenge students to articulate and support their ideas. Shimer students are voracious readers—they view reading not as a passive activity but as a way of actively engaging the world and understanding themselves.
At the Shimer Great Books School, students immerse themselves in reading, discussion and writing. Learning is a constant dialogue where every opinion, every position is questioned and analyzed. Students discuss ideas in a class with others who push them to think more deeply about fundamental questions than they ever have before. Simply put, the Shimer Great Books School challenges students to delve deeply into the diverse and endlessly fascinating areas of thought and creativity in the company of similarly-inclined students and teachers. With this intensive experience in critical thinking, close reading, writing, communication and application to a wide range of fields and complex problems, students are prepared for graduate study, professional school, creative work and careers in organizations of many kinds.
Degree offered: B.A.