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2025 Symposium is “Cultivating Wonder”

Great Hearts Institute June 5, 2024 -

Woman in discussion at Symposium

Carol McNamara, Director of the Great Hearts Institute, and her team have unveiled the theme for the 2025 National Symposium for Classical Education: “Cultivating Wonder.” This theme emphasizes the foundational role of wonder in classical education, highlighting its power to inspire curiosity and a desire for knowledge. With preparations in full swing, Dr. McNamara eagerly anticipates welcoming new and returning participants to the Symposium scheduled for February 19th through the 21st, 2025.

“Wonder is the beginning of education,” McNamara explained. “The literal meaning of wonder is surprise, the experience of something strange and new before which we stand in awe perhaps, but also with a capacious sense of curiosity. Wonder is the beginning of education because it inspires questions and the desire to comprehend what we see or perceive, but do not yet fully understand.”

Dr. McNamara at Symposium

She elaborated on how wonder plays a critical role in classical education. “We cultivate wonder by preparing the ground for the seeds of fascination and curiosity through exposure to the stories, core concepts, and ideas that run a path across classical education. The experience of wonder is the first moment of recognition that there are things we don’t know. So, wonder and the recognition of ignorance are the origin of the questions that motivate our pursuit of knowledge and the good life.”

Exterior of Tempe Mission Palms

The 2025 Symposium attendees will also notice change of venue from the Phoenix Convention Center to the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. This venue, known for its elegant Southwestern ambiance, is located in the lively Mill Avenue District, close to attractions such as Arizona State University and the Tempe Lake waterfront, providing an enriching environment for the attendees.

Discussing the choice of the new venue, McNamara noted, “We sought a location that not only accommodates our plenary lectures, workshops, and sponsors comfortably but also provides a welcoming environment for our attendees to engage and interact.” The Tempe Mission Palms Hotel meets these needs perfectly, offering luxurious accommodations and spacious outdoor areas ideal for both formal and informal gatherings during the Symposium.

Dan Scoggin and Toyin Atolagbe at Symposium

Even more impressive is that the Symposium will be offered at the same rates as previous years, with no price increases for attendees. Once registration opens, be sure to take advantage of the early bird rates.

The 2025 event promises to uphold the tradition of fostering deep discussions and learning about classical, liberal arts education. The program will feature presentations from leading scholars and practitioners in the field. With 800 spots available for education professionals, including administrators, teachers, and parents, the Symposium is set to deliver another exceptional experience and cultivate wonder in all that attend..

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