Rhetoric Practicum Pre-Conference


From the Areopagus to the Twitter Feed

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:00-9:00 p.m. (we will recess for dinner)

If you teach at the rhetoric level, we think you’ll find this practicum to be a “must attend.” Rather than a talk, this will be like our music practicum — an active learning process designed to help rhetoric-level teaching reach a new level of excellence.

Led by Chris Schlect and Steve Turley, this course will help teachers build a program that produces confident, thoughtful, eloquent students.  This practicum is for anyone who designs curriculum or delivers lessons for the upper grades: They will show you how to make the art of Rhetoric come alive in your schools.

Rhetoric Practicum: From the Areopagus to the Twitter Feed

How do we produce eloquent students? Classical educators have the conviction and the drive to recover Classical Rhetoric, but many of us don’t know where to begin. Some of us are familiar with the rhetorical ideas of Aristotle and Cicero, but have yet to apply them to the classroom. Others assign exercises in speaking and writing, but know little about classical rhetoric and have only a vague sense of why Aristotle and Cicero are important.

This workshop will carry the western tradition of Rhetoric into today’s classroom. Participants will learn practical teaching strategies that date from the time of Cicero in the Roman forum, adapted for students who inhabit our own age of Taylor Swift and Twitter.

What to expect?

  • a practical orientation to Aristotle and Cicero;
  • sample lessons;
  • demonstrations of progymnasmata exercises, with tips for success and warnings against common classroom mistakes;
  • introduction to copia exercises;
  • primer on declamation exercises;
  • metaphor contest;
  • workshop on giving feedback—participants will deliver and receive critiques of eloquence in practice;
  • discussion of how teachers of rhetoric can be practitioners of rhetoric;
  • discussion of the most effective practices drawn from various ACCS schools;
  • participants will complete readings and perform a few tasks ahead of time.


Christopher R. Schlect, Ph.D., has worked in classical and Christian education for over twenty-five years. He is the Director of the Classical and Christian Studies graduate program at New Saint Andrews College, where he also teaches courses in history and classical rhetoric. He has taught many subjects (including Rhetoric) to high schoolers at Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, where he also coaches a nationally successful Mock Trial team. In addition, he has taught courses in ancient Rome, Western Europe and U.S. History at Washington State University. Schlect serves Classical and Christian Schools around the country through his consulting and teacher training activities. His research in the history of twentieth-century Protestant church life has earned numerous competitive grants and fellowships. He and his wife, Brenda, have five children—all products of a classical and Christian education—and two grandchildren.

Steve Turley (Ph.D., Durham University) is an internationally recognized scholar, speaker, blogger, and prize-winning classical guitarist. He is the author of Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (Classical Academic Press) and The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians (T&T Clark). Steve blogs on the church, society and culture, education, and the arts at TurleyTalks.com. He is a faculty member at Tall Oaks Classical School in New Castle, DE, where he teaches Theology, Greek, and Rhetoric; he is also Professor of Fine Arts at Eastern University. Steve lectures at universities, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His research and writings have appeared in such journals as Christianity and Literature, Calvin Theological Journal, First Things, Touchstone, and The Chesterton Review. He and his wife, Akiko, have four children and live in Newark, DE, where they together enjoy fishing, gardening, and watching Duck Dynasty marathons.