The Roots of Progress

Announcing Progress Studies for Young Scholars, an online summer program in the history of technology

I’m thrilled to announce a new online learning program in progress studies for high school students: Progress Studies for Young Scholars.

Progress Studies for Young Scholars launches in June as a summer program, with daily online learning activities for 6 weeks. We’ll be covering the history of technology and invention: the challenges of life and work and how we solved them, leading to the amazing increase in living standards over the last few centuries. Topics will include the advances in materials; automation of manufacturing and agriculture; the progression of energy from steam to oil to electricity; how railroads, cars and airplanes shrank the world; the conquest of infectious disease through sanitation, vaccines, and antibiotics; and the rise of computers and the Internet. The course will also prompt students to consider the future of progress, and what part they want to play in it.

The program will be guided self-study, with daily reading, podcasts or video. Students can go through the material entirely on their own for free, or pay to join a study group with an instructor for daily discussion and Q&A. Pricing to be announced soon, but scholarships will be available!

In conjunction, we’re launching a speaker series of talks and interviews with experts in the history of progress, and those at the frontier pushing it forward. Speakers will include Tyler Cowen, Patrick Collison, Max Roser, Joel Mokyr, Deirdre McCloskey, Anton Howes, and many more.

This is a joint project between The Roots of Progress and Higher Ground Education, the largest operator of Montessori and Montessori-inspired schools in the US. I’ve known the leadership team at Higher Ground for many years and have deep respect for them—especially the way they treat learning as a process of self-creation on the part of the student.

Sign up to get announcements about the program, including the speaker series:

And please spread the word, especially to intellectually curious teenagers and their parents!

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