SDI’s Summer School Of Public Service spans two glorious weeks in July and prepares you for extraordinary leadership, including promotion of the common good, like a statesman. Moreover, it is college maximizing, especially in the Humanities. Upwards of fourteen American and international pre-college youth–2016 high school graduates who have not entered college, 2017 high school graduates, rising seniors and perhaps (very exceptional) rising juniors–will be brought together in Washington, DC. The American political economy, especially government, policy, politics and relevant history, will be systematically investigated. Key office visits in the national capital round out the experience.
We use the approach of the ancient leadership academies (the “paideia” of Athens or Rome, for instance). There is this balanced emphasis upon the “whole” and the “part” of statecraft. “Cases” are studied but not in isolation (typical case study approach), instead they are studied in some detail and in very broad context (paideia or system study approach). Deeper trends and patterns of leadership thus emerge.
The paideia promotes superior critical thinking about public affairs. It employs the best technique that 4000 years have seen. Thus the mixture of (i) (click →) classical rhetoric , (ii) a heavy emphasis upon information (the arts of gathering and evaluating information) and (iii) the focusing device of “ultimate ends.” Nowadays, aspiring leaders are typically taught the diluted “communication studies,” not classical rhetoric. They are exposed to mere selective information. And when they draw conclusions, they don’t even think about the ultimate ends of society, instead think about proximate ends. Commonplace is thinking how to get ahead within the system; whereas, it also behooves the leader to “step outside of” or “step back from” the system, from time to time, and foresee where the system is taking everyone and envision what heroic reforms or changes might be in order.
There was never a more important time to learn to think like a statesman. Some want to leave the American “system” behind and fully empower the United Nations. Some want to return to a “strict” interpretation of the Constitution. Others pine for this or that major overhaul.
Our curriculum, which is the product of considerable experience in the arena as well as the academy, divides mostly chronologically and features Part I (first week of July) and Part II (second week of July).
Part I — Origins Of US Public Policy
Introduction to Paideia, including Rhetoric
Ancient, Medieval and Modern Roots Of Policy
Former, Yet Relevant “Systems”
Touring the “Outside” of Our Nation’s Capital (observing monuments, architecture, art)
Momentous Historical Debates
Part II — Charting US Public Policy
Postmodern (circa 1970 to present) Policy
Perceivable Future Policy
Exploring the “Inside” of The Capital (trips to Capitol Hill, agencies, corporations)
Simulations of Major Congressional Debates
School Calendar, Deadline and Application
The 2017 Summer School of Public Service is from Sunday, July 2, to Friday, July 14. Check-in is between 2 and 3 pm and departure is at noon. This is both a residential and commuter offering. Commuter students should be on site between 9 am and 9 pm, except July 2 (3-9 pm) and July 14 (9 am-noon). Applications are being accepted and admission is on a rolling basis. First-in gets priority review.
Cannot attend the school in Washington, DC?
Let us know; there is a portable version of the school!
Major Boost In Your Skills And Knowledge
- Supercharge Your Critical Thinking
- Learn How To Gather And Evaluate Information
- Learn How To Craft A Winning Argument, Including A Persuasive Speech
- Learn How To Discern Deep Trends In Government, Politics, Media, History, Economics and Philosophy
- Understand Opportunities And Challenges In Government, Politics, Think Tanks, Media, Academia and Large Corporations
- Broaden Your Appreciation Of The United States, Of The West
- Sense Where America And The World Are Going
- Anticipate How And Where You Can Contribute