Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The Teaching Company
POSP does not normally endorse commercial companies but The Teaching Company is an exception. The Teaching Company offers a wide range of quality and informative lectures covering the fine arts, history, and the sciences. As they write: The Teaching Company brings engaging professors into your home or car through courses on DVD, audio CD, and other formats. Since 1990, great teachers from the Ivy League, Stanford, Georgetown, and other leading colleges and universities have crafted over 250 courses for lifelong learners like you. It's the adventure of learning without the homework or exams. Three current offerings are: Robert J. Allison's "Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies", Tyler Roberts' "Skeptics and Believers: Religious Debate in the Western Intellectual Tradition", and Gary A. Sojka's "Understanding the Human Factor: Life and Its Impact". The lectures are not cheap and might be only considered after other free sources are explored...or maybe you won the lottery and want to spend a few bucks.
Also Google Videos.
[If you have other sources of free lectures on the fine arts, history, and the sciences, please list them.]
The Teaching Company
The Teaching Company is a Chantilly, Virginia company that produces recordings of lectures by nationally top-ranked university professors as well as high-school teachers. The professors create courses for the company in a special studio located outside of Washington DC; they are then offered for sale in audiotape, CD, DVD, MPEG-4, and MP3 formats.
The company was founded in 1990 by Thomas M. Rollins, former Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and a graduate of Harvard Law School, who noticed the effectiveness of videotapes in learning during his study. He initially tried to create a government program to produce tapes for the public, but was unable to do so because of legal restrictions. After leaving office the idea stayed with him and he started seeking out top professors to create courses for sale to the public.
As of 2009 the company offers more than 300 courses, which span more than 3,000 hours of content across nine subject categories: Business and Economics, Fine Arts and Music, Ancient and Medieval History, Modern History, Literature and English Language, Philosophy and Intellectual History, Religion, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences.
Course offerings are targeted to adult education and life-learners, typical of what would be seen in a University or College undergraduate program for non-majors; there is also a series for high school students. Courses include supplemental booklets with outlines of the individual lectures, recommended reading lists, general bibliographies, and questions to consider. Full printed transcripts are also available.
Courses are available in many formats. Originally, the formats were limited to audio cassette or VHS tape. CD and DVD versions followed soon thereafter, and today there are MP3 downloads of the courses.
On October 2, 2006, the company was acquired by Brentwood Associates, a private equity investment firm.
The Teaching Company brings engaging professors into your home or car through courses on DVD, audio CD, and other formats. Since 1990, great teachers from the Ivy League, Stanford, Georgetown, and other leading colleges and universities have crafted over 250 courses for lifelong learners like you. It's the adventure of learning without the homework or exams.