About Classical Education

What does it mean to be classical?

A classic is anything of enduring value. Classical education derives its purpose, pedagogy, and subject matters from the traditions of our Western civilization inheritance. These principles have proven their value over centuries. A classical education can be understood as a traditional education.

Foundational Beliefs of Classical Education

  • Truth exists and can be known through the exercise of reason.
  • There are objective standards of truth, beauty, and virtue.
  • The purpose of education is to enable human happiness.
  • Western and American traditions are precious to our heritage.
  • It is our duty to tend the accumulated wisdom of Western civilization and transfer it to future generations.
"Education is teaching our children to desire the right things."   – Plato

Classical Education Myths

"Classical education is elitist."

Historically, classical education was reserved for the upper classes, but that is no longer the case. Charter schools are public, and unlike private schools, anyone may enroll. No tuition is charged, and no tests are given to determine eligibility. If there happens to be a waiting list, the order of admission is decided by lottery. Classical charter schools offer a classical education to anyone who desires it, without consideration of social status, race, or income.

"Classical education is stifling."

It is true, classical schools are characterized by the old-fashioned belief that students should memorize a great many facts. However, the learning of facts is merely preparatory. Lower-order thinking is for the sake of higher-order thinking. Of far greater importance are the creativity and good conversation made possible by virtuous habits and a well-stocked mind.

"Classical education is outdated."

The ends of a classical education did not cease to be relevant with the opening of the twenty-first century. They were not made obsolete by technological advances of the telegraph, the television, the computer, or the internet. They were not extinguished with the expansion of trade between Europe and the East during the Renaissance, and they will not be extinguished in the global economy that continues today. A classical education is a timeless education.