Its goal is not to "cover" a particular subject, but to initiate dialogue and hone habits of inquiry, communication, and judgment vital for success at Knox and beyond. As a true interdisciplinary program, Preceptorial classes are taught by professors from nearly all academic programs. View descriptions of courses offered this fall and select your course preferences.
By exploring the language, culture, and meaning of liberal arts -- including ideas such as independent thinking, diverse perspectives, and academic integrity -- Preceptorial enables you to get the most out of your Knox education. You'll explore the classic, existential questions in a broad, engaging, real-world context. Issues are examined through reading, writing, critical analysis and, most importantly, class discussion.
Preceptorial Summer Reading
Before you arrive on campus, we would like you to read and give some thought to David Foster Wallace's essay "Consider the Lobster," originally published in Gourmet magazine in August 2004.
This essay is copyrighted, so please refer to the direct link in the July 1 e-mail you received from the Knox College Office of Student Development.
Preceptorial will be your introduction to a Knox education. Why, then, are we asking you to read about eating lobsters when Knox is a Midwestern college, farther from any saltwater coastline than almost anywhere else in the United States? We chose this text because Preceptorial will also be your introduction to a liberal education: a reading, writing, discussion, and -- most importantly -- thinking course. We wanted something that would make you think about what it is to think - about yourself, about your place and roles within a community -- in anticipation of your next four years at Knox College.
As you read Wallace's essay, keeping in mind that you likely won't agree with everything he says, ask yourself the following questions:
During orientation, philosophy professor Brandon Polite will give the Preceptorial presentation on Wallace's essay. You will then have an opportunity to discuss both the essay and the presentation with a small group of other first-year students and a member of our faculty.
Academic Honesty and the Intellectual Community
During Preceptorial, you'll learn what it means to be part of an intellectual community that practices academic integrity. Veritas (or truth) -- the College's motto -- is the foundation for life and learning at Knox as embodied by our Honor Code. Academic integrity is the broader sense of intellectual truthfulness -- carefully considering all sides of an issue, giving credit where credit is due, and being an active participant in scholarly discussion.
Preceptorial teaches you how to objectively analyze and discuss competing explanations and contradictory beliefs, how to question or affirm a viewpoint, when to be persuaded by a new idea, and how to interact in good faith with those whose opinions differ from your own.