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learn critical thinking using

the socratic method

The Liberty Seminar is grounded in the Socratic method, which is a time-tested way of learning critical thinking skills. Founded by Socrates in ancient Greece, and developed over time into a form of pedagogy, inquiry and dialogue have proven useful in improving critical thinking skills. The Liberty Seminar promotes productive dialogue, civil discourse, and discovery. This is a skill that is learned, and must be practiced or it is lost. 

Course Values

What we stand for

simplicity

Less is more

enjoyment

Ecclesiastes 3:13

Connection

Bridging abstract with concrete

empower

Helping you help others

Empowering people to connect their thoughts with their actions through simple tools and fun practices that will cultivate a free and flourishing society. Standing against efforts to indoctrinate authoritarian principles which divide people into tribalism and elitism.

Mere Liberty

Master Seminar

Mere Liberty

Course Syllabus

Onboarding Module - What You Need to Know

The lessons in this module are dedicated to getting you oriented to the unique attributes of the course. 

We’ll discuss misconceptions about critical thinking; the role emotions play (and don’t); what it means to be enlightened, and what you can expect from the course.

Module 1: Dare to Reflect

The lessons in this module are dedicated to teaching you how to reflect on your own thinking.

We discuss what it means to be educated; how your personality impacts your thinking; how to deal with disagreement; and how to influence instead of manipulate.

Module 2: Dare to Understand

The lessons in this module are dedicated to teaching you about the process of discovery as genuine learning. 

You’ll become aware and understand why your “I don’t know” is so important, how teachers and learners should relate to each other, what it means to be your own teacher, and why thinking well is foundational to making good decisions.

Module 3: Dare to Conceptualize 

The lessons in this module are dedicated to teaching you how hold an idea in your mind and examine it. We will be using the concept of the Socratic practice itself. This give you both the tools to conceptualize any idea you’re interested in, as well as a means of practicing conceptualization. 

We will discuss everything from who Socrates was, the uses of the methodology, offshoots of it, how to conduct a formal seminar yourself, types of questions to use in Socratic dialogue, how to guide a seminar.

Module 4: Dare to Critique 

The lessons in this module are dedicated to teaching you how to critique and analyze your own skills. This is the necessary precursor to being able to constructively critique other ideas. 

We will discuss how thoughts and feelings relate, the traits and skills of reflective thinkers, logical fallacies and cognitive biases – and how to correct them, application for broader education, and the different stages of thinking.

Module 5: Dare to Write

The lessons in this module are dedicated to teaching you how to organize your thoughts onto paper. 

We’ll discuss the value of introversion for Socratic practice, how to take your notes and turn them into an essay, how to edit your own work, and formulate introductions and conclusions. The ability to reflectively think and then effectively communicate your thoughts is incredibly empowering.

Pricing

course pricing levels

Self-Paced

Mere Liberty

$97

Master Seminar

Mere Liberty

$297

Choose Self-Paced or Master Seminar
Hands down, you will learn more by joining the live seminars in a cohort! Self-paced may be a good option for you if
  • a) you're on a tight budget,
  • b) you're already highly motivated and self-starter,
  • or c) you have scheduling conflicts to consider.
  • Self-Paced Path

    Step One: Enroll
    Enroll using "Register Now" button (or click here).
    Step Two: Verify Email Subscription
    You will receive several emails about the course. Please ensure that you receive them by following the instructions given.
    Step Three: Begin Your Lessons
    One module will be released a week. You have 4 months to complete your work.

    Master Seminar Path

    Step One: Enroll
    Enroll using "Register Now" button (or click here).
    Step Two: Verify Email Subscription
    You will receive several emails about the course. Please ensure that you receive them by following the instructions given.
    Step Three: Begin Your Lessons
    One module will be released a week. You have 4 months to complete your work.
    Step Three: Join Live Sessions
    The first week of class, you'll receive a Zoom invitation for the live sessions. Commit to join these to maximize your course benefit.
    Certificate of Achievement
    If you attend and participate in least 8 of the 10 zoom calls, you'll receive a certificate of achievement.

    Have a group you’d like to register?

    Please fill in the application below with best contact info. We will reach out to you.

    Important Dates

    calendar

    Spring Enrollment

    Summer Intensives Enrollment

    Autumn Enrollment

    What students say

    testimonials

    "It seems to me that so much of what ails the world is the inability to know how to articulate our own views, coupled with the very unfortunate inability and unwillingness to seek to understand other people's views. The Liberty Seminar, part of Mere Liberty's offerings, provided a great context to learn and practice Critical Thinking Skills--skills that address both of those inabilities. Using the topic of Liberty as the "practice field" allowed me to learn these skills, as well as learn more about the history and philosophy behind living in a free society."
    Mere Liberty
    Bob Harter
    Adult Seminar Student
    I signed up for the Socratic seminar thinking I’d emerge on the other side as the American version of Jan Helfeld - able to persuade family, friends & strangers on the internet to my points of view by asking them pointed questions to get them thinking. What I learned instead (and to my betterment) was how to ask questions of myself & the material I was consuming.

    Almost equally important was the opportunity to spend time each week discussing important concepts like self ownership with like minded individuals. Those conversations were often bright spots in what were otherwise intellectually bleak weeks. Of course, getting to read Rothbard was really just the cherry on top of a very fulfilling time. I can’t heap enough praise on Kerry for guiding me on my unexpected journey to become a more critical thinker.
    Mere Liberty
    Rachel Watson-Kennerly
    Adult Seminar Student
    “I have been very fortunate in having the opportunity to cross paths with Kerry Baldwin. Just last weekend I finished her Socratic Seminar For a New Liberty for adults. It was a very intellectual stimulating and enjoyable 15 weeks. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn how to think outside the box. I also recommend that you become a member of MereLiberty.com.“
    Mere Liberty
    Thomas Levins
    Adult Seminar Student
    "I’m nicely surprised how our son started doing all his work on his own this year I really think, Kerry you taught him this with your seminars He became evidently responsible for his actions Whatever method you’re using it’s clearly working well. We’re very grateful for this."
    Mere Liberty
    Agnes N.
    Parent, High School Seminar
    "Mere Liberty is so fun, and educational. I enjoy observing the conversations, also talking with other people, and sharing ideas and opinions. It is highly recommended. You learn so many new things. Critical Thinking is a good skill to learn and I enjoyed every step of the way. I want to thank Ms. Kerry for her kindness and teaching, I will definitely take this course again in the future."
    Mere Liberty
    Victory H.
    High School Seminar Student
    "Kerry is an excellent teacher! This course has taught me how to think through difficult things more clearly and objectively."
    Mere Liberty
    Ryder H.
    High School Seminar Student
    I've really enjoyed this course, and I've learned so much. It's exciting because I can use these skills in really, any situation of life. The seminars were so much fun, and honestly, I'm sad that this is the last lesson. But a good thing about learning something while you're younger is that it will stick in your mind. And also you can always re-learn anything. Thank you miss Kerry, for teaching me how to ask critical thinking questions and much more!
    Mere Liberty
    Elektra H.
    Middle School Seminar Student
    The Socratic method of questioning is something your neighborhood school will not teach you. This technique has opened my mind to new ideas or perspectives that I have never considered before. I was taught the crucial ways to process information and question every bit of what was presented.
    Mere Liberty
    Christian N.
    Middle School & High School Seminar Student
    Our kids are participating in the current semester and it has opened up so many opportunities for discussion on big topics, but also assisting the entire family with learning skills to even have that discussion. As well, they are learning to have these discussions with peers from different backgrounds, hundreds of miles away.

    This is really a unique experience that isn’t taught anymore, but everyone can benefit from, young and old. I would like to encourage everyone to look into these seminars for learning how to have discussions while also learning good economic and philosophical concepts.
    Mere Liberty
    Stephen Rose
    Parent, Middle School Seminar
    “We have been so thankful to find Kerry Baldwin’s zoom class. Learning about the Socratic method while reading the Tuttle Twins books every week has really been fun and helped not only my teenager but the whole family expand our knowledge of Liberty themed topics and also learn effective ways of communicating with others that have differing ideas.

    Creating a dialogue where both participants exhibit mutual respect for each other and seeking to truly understand where the other person is coming from is a skill we all need to develop more, especially in today’s reactive social environment. Asking thoughtful questions, pausing to really listen, is an invaluable skill I am grateful to be cultivating in my son with Kerry’s help.

    I absolutely recommend this class for middle school, high school, and any adult wanting to understand the concepts discussed within this course. I am positive it will pay dividends for many years to come. We will most likely take it again soon!”
    Mere Liberty
    Kimberly Wilkinson
    Parent, Middle School Seminar

    FAQs

    frequently asked questions

    What is a cohort?

    When you register for the Master Course of the Liberty Seminar, you’ll be a joining a cohort. A cohort is a group of 7-15 other learners like you. 

    Cohorts can also be groups of 7-15 individuals who want to register together as group. This option allows for flexibility in what the Live Socratic Sessions will discuss. These cohorts can be local (in the greater Albuquerque area), or they may be online. 

    If you have a group of 7-15 individuals who want to start their own cohort with me, please fill out the application below.

    What is the age requirement?

    The Liberty Seminar is for ages 14 and older. This does mean there is a potential that individuals are joining have a mixture of adults and teenagers. While the content of live sessions is appropriate for teenagers, parents are encouraged to take this into consideration when registering their teens. If you’d rather have a cohort of just teenagers, or just adults, please gather your own group of 7-15 people who would like to apply as a cohort.

    What topics are discussed in the live sessions?

    While the Socratic method can be used to learn and think through any topic, the topics for the Seminar will rotate between: foundations of a free society, principles of entrepreneurship, and principles of education. I do plan to have a “potpourri” option every summer where we discuss a topic of my choosing. 

    If you would prefer a particular topic of discussion not listed, please consider applying with your own cohort and making a proposal.  

    Are there discounts offered?

    Generally, I will not be offering discounts except for the following conditions:

    • you have a full cohort (15 people) who wish to register. 
    • you have a cohort (7-15 people) who wish to pay in cash, silver, or Bitcoin.

     

    If you’d like to take advantage of this discount, please apply as a cohort.

    Why don’t I offer more discounts?

    I have two options for registering for this course: one is self-paced and the other includes live sessions with me as your guide. Comparable courses are marked much higher from $500-$1000 depending on where you go.

    I understand that we’re all hurting economically and I want to make my class accessible to as many as who desire to take it. But since I’m already offering what is essentially a built-in discount, I cannot mark it down further except for the conditions I mention above. 

    What is your refund policy?

    For courses that include a Live Session benefit: Requests for refund may be made at least 15 days prior to the registered seminar start date.

    Refunds for courses without a Live Session benefit may be issued if request is made within 5 days of initial purchase.   

    No refunds will be issued after a live seminar start date.

    All sales final for Individual Lessons.

    What is the student-only forum?

    A new feature of the Liberty Seminar is commenting feature that allows students to interact with each other and the Socratic guide (Kerry Baldwin) about the content of lessons and seminar sessions. 

    This feature is password protected, only accessible by currently registered students. This forum is strictly limited to the content of the course. 

    I've never taken an online course, how exactly does this work?

    Online courses have become one means of contemporary education. They are often very specific to subject matter, and are not necessarily offered by the old academic institution system. 

    When you enroll in the Liberty Seminar, you will be given a user account to this website to get access to the audio lessons. You’ll also be added to an email list for the purpose of receiving information relevant to the Liberty Seminar. (Your information is never sold to third parties! I care about all my subscribers, students, and monthly members). 

    You will do the weekly audio lessons on your own time, and then (if you’re registering for the Master Seminar) will join a Live Socratic Seminar via Zoom with upto 14 other students who enrolled with you. These are live! They are not recorded webinars (as some online courses will do). This live discussion provides you an opportunity to put into practice the lessons in critical thinking you’ve learned during the week, with the aid of a Socratic Guide (Kerry Baldwin). 

    The length of the sessions for Spring and Fall are 10-weeks. The length of Summer Intensives are 3 weeks, meeting 3 times a week. (It’s intensive. ;)) 

    Upon completion of the Master Seminar, with a minimum of 8 out of 10 Live Sessions attended and participated in, students will receive a certificate of achievement. 

    What is the resource material for the course?

    How to Read a Book

    by Mortimer Adler

    “With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material.”

    Purchase on Amazon


    The Habit of Thought

    by Michael Strong

    “Teach students to think for themselves. The Habit of Thought describes the theory, practice, and vision of Socratic Practice, a novel and increasingly widespread approach to classroom instruction.”

    Purchase on Amazon


    The Well-Educated Mind

    by Susan Wise Bauer

    “The enduring and engaging guide to educating yourself in the classical tradition … Susan Wise Bauer provides a welcome and encouraging antidote to the distractions of our age, electronic and otherwise.”

    Purchase on Amazon


    Critical Thinking

    by Richard Paul and Linda Elder

    “For Student Success and Career Development, or Critical Thinking courses. Written by two of the leading experts in the field, this book’s approach to critical thinking is as a process for taking charge of and responsibility for one’s thinking.”

    Purchase on Amazon


    Attacking Faulty Reasoning

    by T. Edward Damer

    “Increasingly college courses and programs require a critical thinking component—and include assignments meant to measure your critical thinking skills.”

    Purchase on Amazon


    How to Read a Book

    by Mortimer Adler

    “A powerful program to stop manipulators in their tracks … [Braiker] exposes the most common methods of manipulators, and with the help of self-assessment quizzes, action plans, and how-to exercises, she helps you recognize and end the manipulative cycle for good.”

    Purchase on Amazon


    The Underground History of American Education

    by John Taylor Gatto

    “”The World’s Most Courageous Teacher” reveals the inner circle secrets of the American school system.”

    Purchase on Amazon

    Podcast Interviews

    learning to think well

    Mere Liberty
    Play Video

    How to Have Tough Discussions & Critically Think

    I discuss with attorney and infamous NMSU law professor, David Clements, the value of the Socratic method for building dialogue with tough conversations.

    Mere Liberty
    Play Video

    How Socratic Thinking Can Aid Christians in Faith and Politics

    In this episode, I discuss with host, Jacob Winograd why critical thinking is essential to standing well on principles, parenting, and studying theology.

    Mere Liberty
    Play Video

    High Stakes Creates an Imperative Think Well Before Acting

    Doug Stuart and I dialogue about why high stakes situations that call for action, create an imperative to think well first. No more, ‘shoot first, ask questions later.’

    Articles about Critical Thinking

    Teacher Bio

    Your Socratic Guide

    Kerry Baldwin

    Founder of the Liberty Seminar, Author, Independent Researcher, B.A. Philosophy

    I’m a veteran homeschool parent and have now branched out teaching critical thought using the Socratic method and dialoguing about the principles of a free society. One of those fundamental principles is in the freedom to think, explore, and discover how the world works. I use the Socratic method as a means of discovery and self-improvement in the key skills of critical thinking.

    Feel free to follow me on social media, or send an email. The best way to stay in touch is to subscribe to me email list

    complete the form

    free onboarding guide

    Choose Your Cohort

    Cohort A

    Thursday Afternoons

    One Hour by Zoom
    3PM ET / 12PM PT

    Cohort C

    Saturday Mornings

    One Hour by Zoom
    11AM ET / 8AM PT

    Cohort B

    Thursday Evenings

    One Hour by Zoom
    9PM ET / 6PM PT

    Cohort D

    Saturday Afternoons

    One Hour by Zoom
    3PM ET / 12PM PT