Humanities Teacher Deepens Understanding of Education through Classical Learning Certificate
Date Published: June 30, 2017
Ron Bergez, a current student in the Classical Education Graduate Program, is no stranger
to classical education — nor to the University of Dallas. The father of two UD alumni,
Bergez was excited to experience for himself a slice of the school his children attended.
“What I've always wanted is to keep feeding my mind and becoming better at my craft,”
Bergez said. “I've been able to do some of that on my own, but I've long wanted to
pursue an advanced degree to enhance my understanding of what I teach and how I can
teach it better. A teacher should always be a learner, anyway, and the faculty at
UD will bring my learning to a level way beyond whatever I can do for myself.”
Bergez has taught humanities subjects for 26 years, primarily in private and now charter
schools like Tempe Preparatory Academy from which Great Hearts was founded. During
his 16 years at Tempe Prep, Bergez also served two years as headmaster and one as
dean of students.
Bergez is currently pursuing his Certificate in Classical Learning, the shortened
18-credit-hour version of the full graduate program. Last year, he took two courses
in the program; the first was History of Liberal Arts Education, taught by Associate
Professor of History Susan Hanssen, Ph.D.
“Dr. Hanssen's passion for history revivified my own attraction to it,” Bergez said.
“She demonstrated connections among even seemingly disparate events that create new
levels of understanding of the patterns underlying human activity; in doing so she
reaffirmed that history is a combination of separately fascinating individual strands
of human decision, woven in a pattern ultimately comprehensible but always too large
to take in at once, or even over a span of years — which is thrilling. Her delight
in teaching itself made me feel privileged to be a teacher.”
The second course Bergez tackled last summer was Teaching Classical Children’s Literature,
taught by Affiliate Assistant Professor of Modern Languages Laura Eidt, Ph.D.
“Dr. Eidt opened up for me new perspectives in the field of children's literature,”
Bergez said. “Her knowledge of the field is profound, and the placing of these stories
in the context of the times in which they were written, and within the development
of literary tradition, renews the sense of connection between history and the arts
— something I find fascinating.”
With classes available both onsite and online during both the summer and the academic
year, students like Ron Bergez are able to draw from a wide range of resources in pursuit of the revitalization of today’s education system.