Classical Education is the time-tested method of teaching students for thousands of years. Some of the greatest minds (Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, our Founding Fathers) were all educated in the classical method. Classical Education teaches students to think, rather than to learn how to do something. It also prepares students to learn throughout their entire life.
At the turn of the century, with the Industrial Revolution, the method of education changed to focus on teaching skills and trade. The focus is on learning how to do something. This became the preferred method used today. This method is called Progressive Education.
Classical Education centers around a student’s three natural stages of cognitive development. The first is the Grammar Stage, in which students are absorbing information (like a computer absorbs data). They may not understand everything, but they are storing away information from their world. Children in this stage absorb information and tend to copy or parrot what they observe. This stage tend to coincide with the preschool and early elementary grades.
The second stage is the Logic (or Dialectic) Stage. In this stage, students are learning the why and how things work. They are recalling the information from the earlier stage and using it to analyze the causes in the world. This is the natural stage where children begin to ask the “how” and “why” questions. This stage tends to coincide with the upper elementary and middle school years.
The final stage is the Rhetoric Stage. In this stage, students learn to articulate what they understand (based on the first two stages). They also learn to draw original hypotheses and conclusions based on their understanding of the world. They then express these new thoughts and ideas. This stage tend to coincide with the high school years.
Every subject (and topic) is taught through the same cycle of stages.
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