See it to Believe it – Class Observations at the Graduate Institute

Quite possibly the best way to understand how St. John’s College works is to observe a class. In the world of higher education, our discussion-focused classes are unique. For those unfamiliar, the St. John’s class is a group discussion, led by one or two faculty members who ask questions of the assigned text that inspire conversation between the student in the class about the text.

The idea is surprisingly simple and even more effective. However, it can be difficult to imagine, and harder to find good examples of to persuade one. You can reserve a space to observe a class here on our website. New visits will begin with the summer semester in June once the summer semester starts.

In the meantime, here is what a visitor had to say about their recent class observation,

I recently had the good fortune to listen in on a GI preceptorial reading Heidegger and led by Mr. Winslow. It was nice to be reminded just how good a ‘good Johnnie seminar’ could be. The students were obviously very sharp, and you could tell they had done the reading with that hoped-for mix of close attention, and confident curiosity. They wanted to be there. The unspoken but powerful commitment to cooperative learning required by the St. John’s classroom is not something one comes across so often in other schools, and I have been to my share of schools.  

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