Spring Courses

All our courses contain synchronous elements.

Personal Leadership I: Know Thyself – Spring 2025

This course builds upon the wisdom of the three Delphic maxims inscribed in the Temple of Apollo: “know thyself,” “nothing in excess,” and “certainty brings ruin.” It combines classical models of leadership with modern management practices. Its anchor, however, remains the medium of tragedy, the realm of truth and self-discovery par excellence. Some of the texts studied are Sophocles’s Oedipus the King, Aeschylus’s Eumenides, Donald Cowan’s and Louise Cowan’s Classic Texts and the Nature of Authority, and Max De Pree’s Leadership Is an Art. The lyric voice will also feature prominently, as the “star to every wand’ring bark,” as Shakespeare writes in Sonnet 116.

This course encourages self-reflection about such topics as leadership style and bringing the best in those whom one serves. It seeks to reveal the contours of leadership (rather than details) so as to engender an understanding of leadership as an art in the sense of the ancient Greek word techne. It does not focus on operationalizing one’s vision in a school. This course requires a personal mentor.

Required texts: Max De Pree’s Leadership Is an Art.

Recommended texts:
Sophocles’s Oedipus the King and Aeschylus’s The Eumenides. Links to free, online versions will be provided in the course.

Operationalizing Vision in a School – Spring 2025

In the classical school, all elements of school life reflect the leader’s vision, including scheduling, recruitment, enrollment, budgeting, and facility management. This course takes current and prospective school leaders through a one-year cycle of operationalizing vision, including delegating strategically. You will engage with ancient and modern voices, such as Shakespeare, Donald Cowan, and Peter Drucker. You will also meet several successful headmasters in the Great Hearts network and read about their unique approaches to the operations of their respective schools at the time of the interviews.

Required texts: Donald Cowan’s Unbinding Prometheus: Education for the Coming Age and Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive.

Leadership for Change: Understanding Change, Managing Transitions: Course in progress

Intended for any teacher or rising leader, this course seeks to build awareness of the larger context of leading school change and managing transitions. While not exhaustive, it aims to develop an awareness of the process of change and the ways a leader can manage and facilitate change and transitions. This overview includes an introduction to how adults learn and make change and to understanding and managing the progression of transitions, and offers some tools for all leaders to use when implementing or facilitating a change.

Designed by Alison Westerlind of Ascent Consulting Group.

Required text: William Bridges’s and Susan Bridges’s Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change.

Facilitator: Debbie Rickey, Ph.D., Consultant at Ascent Consulting Group.

Building Healthy Parent Communities – Spring 2025

This course will take participants through an exploration of several dyads crucial to a healthy parent community on a school campus: parent to parent; teacher to parent; and leader to parent. In each case, the school leader can use both group and individual dynamics to sustain a healthy community. The course will also include material on conflict resolution and on public speaking.

Case Study in School Leadership: Spring 2025

This course takes participants through specific “on the ground” challenges encountered by real headmasters as they make decisions in their first year as leaders of a young school. It also provides distinct opportunities to reflect on the meaning of education.

Required texts: James Arthur’s Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools and William Ellet’s The Case Study Handbook.

Summer Courses  |  Fall Courses