In a 1784 essay philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote, "Dare to know." At Sonlight we want children to know and understand ideas. That's one of the reasons we put together a new package called History 520: World History and Worldview Studies.
Intended for upper-level high school students, History 520 combines not only history from ancient times to the 21st century, but also worldviews--the philosophies and ideas that have shaped our world. Far from being impractical, the study of history in conjunction with the rise and fall of worldviews demonstrates just how influential ideas can be.
From the despair of nihilism to the hope of Christianity, students will engage the ideas of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Marx, Nietzsche, and more. These philosophical studies are scheduled alongside the history that is part of History 520. This allows a broader view and understanding of how ideas influenced other areas of life, such as the fine arts, literature, and culture as a whole.
History 520 also prepares high school students for life, including college. By providing a solid introduction to philosophy, students will learn about critical thinking, philosophy of science, and key areas of philosophy that are part of every worldview (what is ultimate reality? how do we know it? what do we do about it?). Students will be prepared to engage the many competing ideas in our culture today.
At the advent of World War II, C.S. Lewis spoke to a group of Oxford students, telling them, "Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered." History 520 integrates history and worldview studies in a way that will help students understand the rudiments of various philosophies, their place in history, and how to engage the many ideas they will encounter in life and in future studies.
May you and your children dare to know--and understand.