3 days / 50+ speakers
30+ seminars, workshops, and panels
National Symposium for Classical Education

Phoenix Convention Center
February 22-24, 2023
2023 Conference

The Tradition Today

The National Symposium for Classical Education is a leading conference of scholars and K-12 educators devoted to deepening our understanding of classical education: a perennial form that draws upon great works and time-tested pedagogy. Some of the brightest lights in K-12 education are joined by scholars, researchers, and the faculty of graduate programs—all interested in serving the growth and development of K-12 classical education.

This year’s Symposium will focus on tradition as a way of knowing—indeed, the means by which we acquire knowledge of any domain. Our goal this year is to communicate to every participant the fundamental value of tradition as it informs the classical liberal arts model of education. With thoughtful attention to notions of Western civilization, culture, classical, and tradition, we will deepen our understanding of the “the Great Tradition.”



Why “The Tradition Today“?

In our discussions over the weekend, we will present a case for classical education as the modality that best does justice to tradition as the most fundamental epistemology. Moreover, two dozen scholars from a range of disciplines will be joined by masterful teachers who immerse K-12 students in the “Great Conversation.”

In addition, Symposium 2023 will host a panel of professionals capable of speaking to the value of classical liberal education for today’s professions: law, engineering, medicine, architecture, etc. These professionals will address the benefits of a classical education, detailing the challenges of their work and relating the stories of young men and women whose classical education has helped them advance professionally by maintaining a humane and philosophical outlook.

As we all know well, classical educators are especially challenged by the swarming distractions of mass media, competing as it does with the thoughtful, reflective approach of the liberal arts. At Symposium 2023, a special panel of media scholars and technologists will investigate the way our digitally-mediated reality shapes the inner lives of “digital natives.” Journalists, scholars, and educators will make a close examination of the opportunities and hazards of our Digital Age.


When and Where

Symposium 2023 will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center on February 22-24. Over three days, participants—teachers, homeschoolers, leaders, and board members, along with policy makers and philanthropists who are eager to support the growth and expansion of K-12 classical education in the United States—will experience more than 80 deeply enriching lectures, panels, and workshops.

Consistent features of the Symposium include:
• Curated keynote talks to focus our collective conversation on essential features of classical curricula and pedagogy
• Scholarly lectures and panels to provide a variety of subject matter
• Primary and secondary texts read together, as framing devices, with open seminars
• Workshops aimed at classical practice—by practitioners for practitioners
• Bibliographic resources, including the relevant books of scholars in attendance
• K-12 student artwork and live performances
• Networking opportunities galore

New features planned for 2023 include:
• Workshops divided into four content-areas (mathematics & sciences, humanities, fine arts, co-curricular—including athletics), each with two grade-ranges—elementary grades (K-5/K-6) and middle-to-secondary grades
• Sessions for Leadership (including school heads, board members, philanthropists, policy makers)—designed to promote robust strategic planning and healthy executive leadership of classical schools, along with greater political and philanthropic support for classical
• Panels of professionals that will address the value of classical liberal arts education, in relation to the professions—e.g., doctors, lawyers, engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs
• Topic-focused panels on current affairs that will explore the import of classical liberal arts education, in relation to topics of contemporary urgency—e.g., the shaping influence of mass media; the role of race and difference in society; the scientific understanding of the world compared to the philosophical view

Sign-up for

Virtue Magazine

Each issue of Virtue will have articles and interviews from the nation’s leading intellectuals; profiles of outstanding teachers, alumni, and students; succinct descriptions of classical education—what, how, and why we teach the liberal arts; essays by leading academic scholars, relating their work to classical education; and an assortment of topics to keep us all thinking afresh, as we continue to pursue the classical ideals of truth, goodness, and beauty.

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