The interest in classical education has blossomed during the last few years, for better or worse, but the name is thrown about so much nowadays that its meaning has become vague. For those who don't know already, a basic definition includes three things:
- Method: The student is taught in three stages: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Collectively, these three stages have been called the "Trivium."
- Grammar means the stage of learning in which a child absorbs lots of factual information.
- Dialectic (or Logic) describes the phase of learning in which a student assembles the facts he has learned into a usable whole.
- Rhetoric covers the period in which the student learns to take his assembled information and begins to apply it to his writing, speaking and defense of beliefs and worldview.
- Content: Classical education is distinguished by the presence of subjects like Latin, logic, theology and rhetoric, but also includes subjects common to a basic education: history, science, mathematics, etc.
- Culture: Classical education is indigenous to the Western world and focuses on imparting Western culture and worldview rather than any influence of eastern philosophy.
Classical education is language-intensive, requiring students to become well-versed in the use and understanding of words. This teaching approach tends to produce literate, curious, intelligent students with a wide range of interests and the ability to follow them up.
The books below focus on explaining the philosophy and method of classical education. A number of companies have built their entire curriclum around the classical model. Among the more prominent of these are: Veritas Press, Classical Conversations, Excellence in Writing, Classical Academic Press, Peace Hill Press and Memoria Press, but there are a number of smaller companies that also contribute in significant ways, like Trivium Pursuit, Christian Logic, Classical Historian, Center for Literary Education, Circe, and Roman Roads Media.
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