What is a Polis Course Like? All Polis classes are discussion-based and conducted in seminar style. Students will read a common text and the instructor will lead the group in conversation and deep exploration of the text and the essential questions driving the course. Students are expected to come to class having read the text (most readings are designed for the busy adult and are meant to take 2 hours or so to read between each session) and be willing to listen deeply and offer insight and inquiry. Unless otherwise noted, Polis courses are not lecture style.
Do I Need any Prior Experience? A Polis class is for any adult with an open-mind and a desire and willingness to learn and grow. You do not need background in the liberal arts and sciences or in the topic of the class; though,if you have an experience with either, you are encouraged to register.
How Long are Courses? Courses range in length from 2-8 weeks and all sessions are from 7:00-8:30PM weeknights or10:00am-12:30pm on weekends.
How Much do Courses Cost? All Polis courses are just $25/session. We offer a discount of $20/course to teachers and non-profit workers.
What is the Difference between a Polis Course and a Typical College Class? All Polis courses are designed with one primary goal in mind: creating an ongoing and vibrant community of adult learners in the Bay Area. At Polis, community comes first. Our courses are designed around essential guiding questions because we know that these are the questions that generate meaningful and purposeful conversation. Our courses are all taught by highly qualified instructors (many of whom you could find in a college setting) who want to build a community fueled by authentic conversation, open-mindedness, and the eternal questions inherent in a study of the liberal arts and sciences.
Isn’t Polis just like a Book Group? We think book groups are terrific and are another way of creating community. But, Polis isn’t a book group. Unlike the sometimes haphazard atmosphere of a book group, Polis students can count on all class members having read the text and being willing to participate in discussion. Polis students can also expect that the instructor will guide the group based on his/her experience as both a facilitator and content expert.
What Do I Need to Bring to Class? All students should bring a hard copy of the text or reading handout, paper and pen if you would like to take notes, an open mind and the desire and patience to listen and learn from the other seminar members. We ask that students refrain from using cell phones or computers during the seminar. E-book versions of the texts are acceptable but we encourage students to opt for the good old fashioned paper copy of a book if possible.