Students Lead Junior Great Books Program

Questions, not answers

August 24, 2011

State Farm Youth Advisroy Board websiteGuiding young students through a Junior Great Books curriculum "is not about getting the right answers, but asking the right questions," according to an instructor who came to the Knox campus to help Knox College students prepare for teaching Junior Great Books classes. Knox's Junior Great Books Program is showcased in a recent web feature by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. The board awarded a grant to the program in 2010.

The program challenges grade school students with classic works of children's literature from around the globe.

"Junior Great Books expose children to wide range of world literature, while building critical reading, thinking, writing, and speaking skills," said Stephen Schroth, assistant professor of education at Knox and one of the faculty advisors for the program.

Junior Great Books ClassThe grade school students met with Knox students and faculty for readings, followed by enrichment activities. The Knox students received training from the Junior Great Books Foundation. 

Photo, right: In a Junior Great Books Class on the Knox campus, a grade school student talks with Knox student Michael Kaminski about an ambiguous image -- with both human and animal characteristics -- designed to prompt open-ended discussion and analysis.

The Junior Great Books Program is part of Project GEM -- an initiative that provides elementary, middle and high school students with experiences in books, dance and art enrichment and mentoring.