Classical Education: Part 1

Classical Education is Big Business

Over the last 20 years or so within the homeschooling and private school market Classical Education has expanded from a small, niche interest to become one of the major contenders in the realm of educational philosophies. To take just one particular example, in 1994 the Association of Classical Christian Schools consisted of a group 10 schools. By 2016, the organization boasted 251 member schools with over 41,000 students.[1] Naturally, in light of this boom, there are any number of schools, curriculum companies, authors, and organizations pushing the cause of Classical Education, and, as with everything that becomes a trend, there are detractors as well.

One thing that I have noticed, though, is that many of the people out there attacking Classical Education are actually only attacking one particular method for implementing Classical Education, and often these critics misunderstand just what Classical Education is all about. Likewise many people, both homeschooling parents and school administrators, seeing the stellar results produced by Classical Education done well, throw themselves into the idea of doing Classical without fully grasping what Classical Education entails.

So what is Classical Education? What makes it so attractive to so many parents and teachers? And why is is so hard to pin down with a definition? As someone who has worked in Classical schools for 12 years and who has both taught and written curriculum I would like to do my small part to set the record straight. Over the course of the upcoming blog posts I will spend some time dispelling myths about Classical Education, separating the methods from the principles, and highlighting the core ideas behind Classical Education that make it such an enduring concept.

[1] ACCS, “Measure It”