Coming into Christian classical education 7 years ago, I was unsure how math and science fit in. I struggled for years trying to balance the need to teach math curriculum to prepare students for tests like the SAT while also allowing them time to wrestle with big ideas. After visiting the Scientific Revolution class at the Geneva School in 2019, I knew I could do more to foster wonder in my classroom. The students seemed actively engaged and genuinely interested in digging deeper into the ideas. My school, the Covenant School – Dallas, had a unique opportunity to introduce the Scientific Revolution course this year to 9 seniors who needed Physics and Pre-Calculus to graduate. This course has been a life-giving professional opportunity. It has changed my thoughts about how to incorporate math/science into the classical style of education. It forced me to reconsider how I teach all my math courses. The class combines math, science, history, and theology in a way that allows students to wonder and wrestle with key mathematical and scientific concepts. My students are experiencing these ideas for themselves, reading hard things like Galileo’s Third Day, and developing hard mathematical proofs. Join Ravi Jain and I to discover how a classical approach to math and science changed my paradigm for teaching. And let’s discuss the practical questions of how I did it and how you can too.
Heather Roberts graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a B.S. in Mathematics. She began teaching in 1999 in various public schools before joining the faculty of The Covenant School – Dallas in 2014, where she serves as the Mathematics Department Chair. She has taught a variety of subjects from Pre-Algebra to AP Statistics. This year, she began teaching the Scientific Revolution course developed by Ravi Jain at The Geneva School. She is married to Ritch and has three children, Libby, Chloe, and David. She enjoys spending time outdoors and watching her children play sports.
Ravi Jain graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. and interests in physics, ancient Greek, and international political economy. He worked at various churches, received an M.A. from Reformed Theological Seminary, and later earned a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He coauthored “The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education,” now translated into Chinese, and the forthcoming, “A New Natural Philosophy: Natural Science and Christian Pedagogy.” He began teaching Calculus and Physics at the Geneva School in 2003 where he has developed an integrated double period class called “The Scientific Revolution.” In that class students read primary sources like Galileo and Newton in order to recapitulate the narrative of discovery and explore its deeper meanings while preserving the mathematical and scientific rigor expected of a college level treatment. He also teaches AP Calculus BC, in which the students strive to discover and demonstrate the “most beautiful theorem in mathematics,” and AP Physics C where they encounter Faraday, Maxwell, and Einstein. He has given over 150 talks and workshops throughout America, Africa, and China on topics related to education, theology, mathematics, and science. He has served as a deacon in his church and is a founding Alcuin fellow. He enjoys spending time with his two boys, Judah,and Xavier, and his wife Kelley Anne.