The goal of classical education is a simple one. However, it sometimes eludes parents as they research educational opportunities for their children. One easy way to think about classical education is to think of it as a large museum.
Throughout the building, there are many rooms filled with beauty and wonder. There’s enough that people could spend a lifetime studying everything in its halls. Moreover, a classical school invokes a long tradition in education.
It seeks the truth, goodness, and beauty of the world through grammar, rhetoric, and logic. These are the verbal arts of the trivium. Additionally, some classical schools cover geometry, music, astronomy, and arithmetic. These subjects are the mathematical arts of the quadrivium.
The classical approach to education teaches children how to think and how to learn.
Classical Education & Young Students
At its core, the goal of classical education is to cultivate wisdom. From wisdom comes prudence, which allows natural success in the world. However, wisdom is difficult to obtain in many modern environments.
While some schools focus on specializations or technical training, a classical school cultivates a love of learning and intellectual pursuits. As children develop this focndness, it connects them with essential aspects of humanity.
After all, we are rational creatures. Therefore, it is essential to fulfill and explore this rational nature in order become successful individuals. Still, this goal of classical education is within reach for every human being.
While some modern education specialists claim that any reading is good, classical theorists believe in the goal of forming a wise student. As we impart a love of learning that schools cannot achieve through drudgery, they develop a taste for more than “intellectual junk food.”
In some cases, students new to this form of education struggle to adjust. However, this period is often followed by a flowering curiosity.
What Makes Classical Education Effective?
The effective nature of classical education is due in large part to the approach. More specifically, it involves how and when a school teaches a student.
The goal of classical education is to impart a love of learning, meeting children where they are. Regardless of learning style, children learn in distinct stages:
At the grammar stage, students learn through song and rhyme, which allows them to remember things for a lifetime. In the logic stage, older students utilize their argumentative nature to explore the “why” of the world, allowing them to question facts and pursue their own findings.
At the rhetoric stage, students begin to thrive as thinkers and communicators. Here, they study and practice the art of persuasive speaking and effective writing. In classical education, the stages teach students according to their development, allowing it to be a more effective approach that builds over time.
In the past, this style of education produced countless leaders, scientists, lawyers, physicians, artists, and more. While it never disappeared, it diminished with the advent of progressive education. However, when we understand the goal of classical education, we can see why it is important to restore this method.
In fact, there’s a rise of classical schools across the nation that seek to reform, renew, and expand the methodology. At Saint Nicholas School, we believe in providing a strong foundation for the future success of our students.
Schedule a tour of our school to learn more and see classical education in action.