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Bringing the Republic to Life: Teaching Plato's The Republic to First-Year Students

Brooks, Thom



I have taught Plato's Republic for several years although seminars on this text can be difficult and pose certain challenges, most especially with first year students new to university: the ancient Greeks seem a long way from the technocratic society we live in today. More importantly, the complexity of our relationship to each other as citizens and to the state has grown increasingly since the ancient world as well. Students find this revered book full of unfamiliar names, arguments, and styles of presentation and immediately become a bit frustrated. In this article, I provide a thorough, concrete example of how I have attempted to overcome this problem in my work using the seminar format. I have learned some useful tips for tackling this text and hope this article might be useful to others grappling with the teaching of abstract concepts and texts, opening the door for students to engage with a new civic awareness.


Brooks, T. (2008). Bringing the Republic to Life: Teaching Plato's The Republic to First-Year Students. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 3(3), 211-221.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2008
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2012
Journal Education, Citizenship and Social Justice
Print ISSN 1746-1979
Electronic ISSN 1746-1987
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 3
Pages 211-221
Keywords citizenship; democracy; education; philosophy; Plato; seminar
Publisher URL 10.1177/1746197908090079

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