Why Choose a Classical Education?
The short answer to the question “Why Classical?” is that Classical education is the most powerful educational tool available to sharpen the Biblical mind. It was the one used in the education of our American founding fathers.
The Classical model incorporates tried and true principles that align not only with modern ideas about child development but with the foundations of Christian theology as well. At the heart of the Classical model is the Trivium. Three stages of development are contained within it: Grammar (grades 1-5), Dialectic/Logic (grades 6-8), and Rhetoric (grades 9-12).
The Grammar Stage
In the Grammar stage, children are absorbing many new facts from their experiences in life. During this stage they acquire and experience new information which will go through transitions in the next two stages.
The Logic Stage
In the Logic stage, (sometimes called Dialectic stage), students begin assembling the information they learned in the Grammar stage. Essentially, they’re putting the puzzle together as they examine each piece. If you have ever encountered a child who loves to debate, dialogue, and dispute things you say, then you have probably been in the presence of a child in this Logic-Dialectic stage. During this very disputatious stage of development, it is an opportune time to introduce and teach the course of Logic to teach students to question in a respectful and logical manner. Thus, why it is usually called the Logic stage.
The Rhetoric Stage
In the Rhetoric stage, the student matures and moves into the important level of applying and articulating this new knowledge. This is the goal of a classical education—for a young person to be able to defend truth and articulate their convictions in an intelligent manner. Sometimes the tools of expression become just as important as the knowledge itself.
The Goal of Classical Education
The goal, then, as Dorothy Sayers writes in The Lost Tools of Learning, is simply this: to teach students to learn for themselves. The Trivium provides a wonderful roadmap to making that goal a reality as the students educate, evaluate, and express what they are learning.
A Biblical Foundation
Along the way, the classical model incorporates many wonderful aspects that are too often neglected by typical educational systems. One of these characteristics is the placement of great literature and original documents at the core of the curriculum. From the Bible, to Plato to Shakespeare to Lincoln, a classical education embraces the wealth of knowledge and truth found in Western civilization. More importantly, it goes straight to the sources themselves in mining their ideas. With the Bible as the foundation and basis for truth, the other documents can be read critically through the lens of a Christian worldview.
Tied to this idea of original documents is the central role played by history. This places the historical context and lessons from past leaders’ triumphs and mistakes at its core and is ideal for education. History reveals the providential hand of God, and remains a source of great wisdom and knowledge. History is HIS-story.
Other defining characteristics of Classical education are the incorporation of Latin, fine arts, and disciplines such as apologetics and logic into the curriculum. The arts enhance the academics and neuroscience supports this research. Latin does for the mind what exercise does for the body by structuring and organizing it, as well as preparing students for SATs, vocabulary building, study in science, law, and literature. The tools of apologetics and logic refine the students’ thinking, preparing them to be learners for life who have not only theoretical knowledge but practical means for approaching the complexities of life.
In the distant past, most institutions were founded by Christians who saw it as their duty to conquer the intellectual arena for Christ. Today that is sadly not the case. Yet that is precisely why Classical education is so important. It is a proven strategy for educating tomorrow’s thinking Christians by stimulating the minds, imaginations, and souls of our children, thus providing the much-needed surgery for the spiritually clogged arteries of the modern world.
The Camerata School provides Christian and classical education for students in grades K- 12. We also provide a Conservatory of Fine Arts for lessons in piano, voice, or instruments. For more information you may call 469-319-1312. We also welcome you to attend a weekly Open Houses with our Head of School, Jody Capehart. We are conveniently located on 5780 Virginia Parkway in beautiful McKinney, TX.
Classical Education Explained
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Head of School
Mrs. Jody Capehart
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Mrs. Teri Tingdale
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Mrs. Denise Pope
Mrs. Teri Tingdale