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A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century

thomas-jefferson-education-coverIn his best-known book, Oliver DeMille details the educational philosophy and methodology used by the difference-makers throughout history. Drawing from the educational background of Thomas Jefferson, he argues that everyone has genius; it simply needs to be revealed through a specific type of education.

He describes the three types of education and the goals of each, the phases of learning, and the seven keys of great teaching. He reveals the fundamental, flawed assumptions underlying the failings of American education.

One thing is certain, states DeMille: Tomorrow’s leaders will determine whether the flame of freedom and prosperity lit by American Founders two hundred years ago continues to burn brightly or is extinguished. These leaders are being prepared today.

Is the education of our youth up to their potential? Is it equal to the challenges before them? It is time for a new generation to get a Thomas Jefferson Education.

FreedomShift: 3 Choice to Reclaim America’s Destiny

Americans who are so demonstrably willing to labor and sacrifice for the benefit of their posterity can only allow the destruction of the forms that protect our freedoms if they do not understand what freedom is, nor how to maintain it.

A FreedomShift is needed today; and to accomplish it, Oliver DeMille proposes The 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Can it be possible that such a peaceful revolution can be accomplished by three simple choices made by a relative few?

FreedomShift is a book to be read and re-read. DeMille has stepped to the front lines in the battle for America’s freedom.”

~Orrin Woodward, Top-25 Leadership Guru

“Oliver DeMille stands like a signpost pointing the way toward a better, freer, saner society in keeping with our founding ideals. Regarding America’s decline, many people are finally asking “What can we do?” In FreedomShift, DeMille very clearly answers the question with thoughtful, specific, and intelligent direction. FreedomShift is not only a must-read book, it is a must-follow road map.”

~Chris Brady, NYTimes, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of
Rascal: Making a Difference by Becoming an Original Character

The Student Whisperer

Like a master gardener, a great mentor, a Student Whisperer, knows how to set the stage for transformational experiences—as often as they are needed. She knows how to create the environment where such feelings and experiences are frequent, how to use such experiences to help us discover and improve ourselves, and even how to repeat and reinforce such feelings so that our motivation and efforts are sustained. A great mentor cares—and she is effective.

This book is designed to help you become a great mentor—a true Student Whisperer and leader at the highest level. It will also help you work effectively with such mentors as you pursue your goals and life mission. This book is part deep teaching of the vital principles of great Leadership Education, part self-help workshop, part example through parables, and part exploration of the great ideas that make mentoring and quality learning most effective at all ages.

  • “My ‘epiphanal rate’ was off the charts.”
  • “I was moved beyond words.”
  • “…a guide book for all who want to truly mentor well and make a difference in the world.”
  • “…a classic! [It] will apply to the businessman and homeschooling mom alike.”
  • “…no matter what I say it would be an understatement.”

The Coming Aristocracy: Education and the Future of Freedom

The Coming Aristocracy is a clarion call for all freedom-loving Americans to awaken to our present dangers. Oliver DeMille is a modern-day Founding Father and no patriot’s library is complete without this book!”

—Orrin Woodward, Best-Selling Author, Launching a Leadership Revolution

The Coming Aristocracy is compelling, timely, and vital. This may be one of the most important books you’ll read this year.”

—Steve D’Annunzio, Founder, The Soul Purpose Institute

The Coming Aristocracy is a book for anyone concerned about the decline of America and the steady loss of freedom. More precisely, it is for those dedicated to reversing those trends through education and entrepreneurship.

Drawing from years of intense and exhaustive research, Oliver DeMille demonstrates why social, economic, and political equality are being steadily eroded.

He highlights crucial constitutional changes, analyzes the current economic crisis, explains why both liberals and conservatives promote aristocracy, and articulates a comprehensive formula for restoring the American republic.

Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning

With Rachel DeMille

Often cited by the DeMilles as their favorite work to date, this inspirational manual picks up where the primer/overview work, A Thomas Jefferson Education leaves off.

This volume reviews the philosophical underpinnings of leadership education with a survey of human development research that supports the TJEd philosophy and methodology. Where the original TJEd book providers a primer or overview, Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning gives detailed descriptions, stories and examples. It includes sections on each of the Phases of Learning: Core, Love of Learning, transition to Scholar, Scholar, and Depth.

In addition, this book illuminates the adult phases of Mission and Impact, with a special coda on Grandparenting.

Those who master the content in this book leave behind the question, “But how do you actually DO it?”

If you want to implement Leadership Education in your home, school, business or personal life, you will find this an invaluable tool.

For more information, click a link:

Hero Education

A Scholar Phase Guidebook for Teens, Parents and Mentors

Let’s just be honest. If your children don’t get a Scholar Phase, they don’t get a great education. You settle for something less. Something… more mediocre. They were meant for something better. They need a Scholar Phase.

Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

With Shanon Brooks

“This book is so-o-o-o good. I am getting a copy for every single one of my young adult children.”

-Deena Ortiz, founder and organizer of southern California TJEd Forum, “FATJEF”

“The Teen 100 Book List and the insights on how to use it are, of themselves, worth the price of the book!”

-Teri Helms, TJEd mom to five boys, Owner, Tommy Mom

“This a MUST READ for today’s youth and their parents! Don’t let the word TEENS in the title fool you. This book gives enormous perspective for all ages of people.”

-Nicholeen Peck, author of Parenting a House United

“It is said that when God wants to change the world, he sends a baby–perfectly timed to grow, learn, prepare and then take action at the right moment.

“But there are times when one baby won’t suffice, when the challenges facing the world are just too great; and so instead of a great reformer or a few key thinkers, what is needed is a whole generation of leaders.

“This happened in the sixth century B.C. and in the first decade of the Common Era, then again in the American Founding generation.

“We believe it is happening again today….”

This latest addition to the TJEd library is written to youth and adults wanting to accomplish a successful Scholar Phase–academics, personal development and mission preparation. It includes:

  • How to find the “Real You”
  • The Teen-100 List
  • How to study the classics
  • How to make the most of your mentor
  • Sample Simulations
  • …plus lots more!
  • Sample Download


“The Four Lost American Ideals”

In this recorded speech, Oliver DeMille draws from intensive study of the Founding generation to identify five defining ideals of Americanism:

  1. Freedom
  2. Georgics
  3. Providence
  4. Liber
  5. Public Virtue

Although the first, freedom, has not yet been fully lost, it is steadily declining because of the loss of the other four. These four ideals permeated early American society but have largely been forgotten.


The word “georgics” comes from the Greek “geo,” meaning earth, and “ergon,” meaning work. The literal translation, therefore, means to work, or farm the earth.

Translated to fit modern times, the essence of the word is “ownership.”

America was built on the backs of free and independent owners. The more owners we have, the more freedom we enjoy, and vice versa.


There are two aspects to the concept of providence: 1) there is a Higher Power, or God, and 2) God has a specific purpose — or mission — for every individual.

Those who believe in and submit to providence live virtuous and courageous lives of service and leave legacies. They work with passion and purpose. They live by design, rather than default.


“Liber” is a Latin word for tree bark. It’s also the root word of “library” and “liberty,” revealing the relationship between knowledge and freedom.

In the ancient world tree bark used to write on, and there were generally two groups of people: slaves and liber. To be “liber” meant that one could read, write and engage in contract.

Liber means much more than mere literacy — it means that you have the ability to think, learn and lead. It means being able to engage with the greatest thinkers, respond intelligently, and practically apply knowledge to improve the world.

Public Virtue

Public virtue means to voluntarily sacrifice personal benefit for the good of society.

Those who have lived the first three ideals (liberally educated owners engaged in personal mission) can apply public virtue to transform society when it matters most.

“The Freedom Crisis”

Despite the best efforts of dedicated citizens, the freedom movement has been losing for ten decades.

Why is this, and how can we reverse this trend?

In this 53-minute recorded speech, Oliver DeMille provides surprising answers that challenge and stretch your thinking.

Click here to purchase the speech.

Freedom lovers are losing, says DeMille, because they’ve been trained to think sensus solum. This type of thinking stifles creativity, inhibits innovation, creates cultural rigidity, and fails to sway the thinking populace.

In order to conquer this ingrained challenge and win the battle for freedom, three things must occur:

  1. Widespread Sensus Plenior
  2. Successful Innovators Building Effective Mini-Factories
  3. Statesmen & Stateswomen

Unless we can accomplish these goals, freedom will be lost for future generations. Absorb this speech to learn what these mean and how you can contribute to the solutions.

Sensus Plenior

Sensus plenior, a Latin term, is the thought patterns and language of poetry, symbol, and celebrity.

Lower classes in America have been taught sensus solum, while upper classes have been taught sensus plenior. This has created a de facto aristocracy.

For freedom to win, America needs about 30 percent of the population to think in terms of sensus plenior.

Mini-Factory Owners

As Oliver DeMille wrote in The Coming Aristocracy:

A mini-factory is anything someone does alone or with partners or a team, that accomplishes what has historically been done en masse or by big institutions.

“Entrepreneurship, alternative education, the downshifter movement, environmental groups, alternative health, the growth of spirituality, community architecture, the explosion of network marketing, home doctor visits, the rebirth of active fathering, and so many other trends are mini-factories.”

Mini-factory owners — innovators, entrepreneurs — think differently than other segments of the population. They believe in freedom. They build things worth fighting for.

America needs at least 3 percent of the population to build successful mini-factories in order to revive, protect, and spread freedom.

Statesmen & Stateswomen

Statesmen have 1) a broad and deep understanding of governmental, societal, and familial forms that deepen and perpetuate freedom, and 2) the social capital and influence to implement those forms.

They possess the highest levels of education based upon a specific methodology. With a deep understanding of history, they see into the future, then create and implement forms in the present.

Core and Love of Learning Seminar Highlights

“Core and Love of Learning: A Recipe for Success” is a 5-hour audio series consisting of highlights from a two-day seminar presented by Oliver and Rachel DeMille in 2007.

This mp3 download will help you identify and expand your vision of how the TJEd model can work in your home. Oliver and Rachel’s spontaneous, candid, intimate, touching, humorous and profound commentary on Leadership Education in the home includes:

  • Daily and Weekly Scheduling
  • Organizing Space in your home to support Thomas Jefferson Education
  • What to simplify and what to beef up
  • What to say “No” to, and when to say “Yes”
  • Music and other lessons and how to best integrate them

Highlights include:

  • Which books work best for what ages
  • Organizing a big family with students at different ages and Phases
  • Separating discipline from academics
  • Using outside activities without letting them take over
  • Tips for making mornings work

This unique recording is informal, sensitive and interactive, as Rachel and Oliver share from the heart and dialog about how TJEd works in the home. While the content in this seminar is based on information published in Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning, these excerpts were specifically chosen for audio distribution because they are not available elsewhere in any format; this is a deeper and more detailed presentation with personal anecdotes and insights from the most successful TJEd seminar ever presented.


Thomas Jefferson Education

Thomas Jefferson Education, TJEd, or Leadership Education is the philosophy and methodology by which the difference-makers throughout history were educated.

There are three major types of education in America today. These same models can be found around the world and throughout history, with identifiable models and objectives. They are:

  • Conveyor Belt
  • Professional
  • Leadership

Each has its own goals, curriculum and methods, with a particular career or life path as its objective.

Conveyor Belt Education has as its objective to prepare everyone for a job, any job, by teaching them what to think. Professional education systems create specialists by teaching their students when to think.

Leadership Education has three primary goals:

  1. To train thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and statesmen—those with understanding and competence to lead society (do things right) and the moral character to act with integrity in the areas they lead in (do the right thing).
  2. To perpetuate freedom by helping people understand what freedom is and what must be done to maintain it, and inspiring them to actually do the difficult things required to make it happen.
  3. Teach students how to think, which is how the first two goals must be accomplished.

The Center for Social Leadership

The Center for Social Leadership (CSL) is a think tank and action organization dedicated to building social leaders for the 21st Century. We empower ordinary citizens to make an extraordinary difference.

Humanity is experiencing dramatic changes. Traditional leadership is broken. Conventional human organization based on hierarchies and authority is outdated. Human consciousness is evolving. Technology has transformed the way we interact and enhanced our ability to have impact — for good or for ill.

The Center for Social Leadership was formed to steer these changes to heal society, preserve freedom, and ensure peace and prosperity for humanity.

A new vision of leadership is needed. Not the old, hierarchical, positional, authoritative, privileged-elite leadership, but a new democratic, action-determined, service-oriented leadership. Through this social leadership, mankind can achieve unprecedented happiness and fulfillment.

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