What is Classical Education?
Classical education is taught through a process called the trivium. The trivium is based on the natural stages of development of children. The three stages are grammar, dialectic or logic, and rhetoric. These are described at MCA as absorbing, thinking, expressing.
Students begin by learning the basic facts and rules of each subject. Teaching methods such as singing, drilling, chanting, and recitation are emphasized. Young children find it easy and enjoy memorizing and chanting. They are given opportunities to memorize all types of facts in English, geography, math, Bible and Latin. These facts are the building blocks of every subject.
As students become teenagers, they like to contradict and question their elders. They enjoy pointing out mistakes and inconsistencies. That makes this stage perfect to instruct and train students in logic, the art of reasoning, and arguing correctly. In every subject, students are being taught to analyze, reason, question, evaluate, and critique.
In the study of rhetoric, students learn how to artfully present what they know and what they are learning. Debate, apologetics, speech, essay writing, and drama are emphasized during this stage. Student in this stage are eager to express themselves and for independence. So they are taught to eloquently express their thoughts and ideas through speech and writing and to support a peruasive argument. The rhetoric stage is built on a foundation of accumulated knowledge and is the capstone of the Trivium
Why is Classical Education unique?
Classical Christian education is based on foundational truths and morals of Christian faith. It is focused on spiritual, moral and academic excellence. Rooted in the teaching methods of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and the early church, classical education is the time-tested and proven method for educating the greatest minds of western civilization, unlike the modern progressive method of government schools. Students study original sources, the great historical and literary works of Western Civilization, as well as modern writings using methods best suited to their developmental stage. The goal is students who can evaluate sources and think critically. The focus is not on facts and skills but cultivating wisdom and a love of learning. A classical education is a true liberal education, which is rich, in-depth, well rounded and broad in scope. Classical education creates a cohesive Christian worldview by connecting all disciplines through consistent thinking. Students learn the art of learning and are thereby prepared for whatever calling God gives them.