School of Light Features Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences
The proposed cycle time for this course of study is 2 years. Over the course of 2 years, there are 24 opportunities to meet as a class/seminar if we continue to meet during summer months. Since the class can meet in the library of Boughton Memorial Hall or in another facility during the summer, there is no reason to get out of the monthly habit of meeting to expand our knowledge on Masonry.
The second section of the Second Degree lays out the most logical course of study for every Mason. They are the seven liberal arts and sciences: Music, Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Astronomy, and, of course, Geometry. We are also directed to learn about architecture. All have Masonic application and lend themselves to discussion and friendly debate. Preparation for each subject is easier than previous courses because each “class” is limited to a single subject.
Class Preparation and Facilitator Selection
Each class or seminar will have a facilitator which will be a rotating assignment for each class member. The facilitator need not be a subject matter expert. He will, however, need to prepare for the discussion by doing some research and finding materials to share with the class. Since there is web access even in the library, sharing online materials is encouraged when necessary to present findings and foster the discussion. Preferably, each class member prepares for each class, but having an assigned facilitator ensures at least one person has done the necessary work to present a point of view and some background information to start the discussion.
Each class will start with a layout of the topic by the facilitator. He will then present all the sources of information found in his research of the topic. After his opening remarks, the topic will be open for discussion. At the end, the class director will pass out a sheet to each participant and ask them to record three things they learned and a question that would elicit that response. The class director will collect these and use them to develop the end of section exam. There needs to be at least one 33° member assigned to each topic series as the class director. He will not perform as facilitator but can assist the facilitator if needed.
See the Syllabus for the first six months of topics. The format is as follows:
- Geometry runs for 6 sessions. The first is an introduction to set the framework and make assignments among the class for four facilitators, one for each of the next four classes. There needs to be one clad director (preferably a 33° member) who will be responsible for the last session where the previous four weeks will be summarized and an exam administered.
- The next 6 session would be about Architecture. There are 5 orders of architecture to discuss and again, the sixth session would be a summary and exam.
- The next six sessions would cover the Liberal Arts: Music, Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.
- The last set of sessions would cover the Sciences: Arithmetic, Astronomy, the Celestial Globe, and the Terrestrial Globe.
Anyone who successfully completes the course of study will receive the Rupert F. Glover, 33° IGH Memorial Award. The class member must score 80% or better on each of the 4 exams, have participated as a facilitator as often as the rotation based on class size dictates, and have actually attended at least 75% of the sessions.
This course may become part of the Double-Eagle recognition. More information to come about that. These awards, of course, are notional and subject to funding by the Valley.
The purpose of the School of Light is enlightenment. The course is not to be the end in itself like the Master Craftsman series. On no account should the Master Craftsman series be neglected but done concurrently to get greater breadth of knowledge about Masonry. The School of Light is to provide for open-ended discussion and exploration. The topics take us where they take us. The exam is based on what was actually covered and not based on a pre-conceived curriculum. I believe that was the intent of providing a Syllabus rather than anything more structured.