What is now called “classical education” has long been called “liberal education,” highlighting that it is an education for freedom. Dr. Jeffrey S. Lehman, in his article "Liberal Education: A Working Definition," explains it thus: "Liberal education is the pursuit of wisdom through a cultivation of intellectual virtue and an encouragement of moral virtue by means of a rich and ordered course of study, grounded in the liberal arts, ascending through humane letters, mathematics, natural science, and philosophy, and culminating in the study of theology, yielding informed self-rule and a well-ordered understanding of human nature, the cosmos, and God."
Classical education is a holistic approach to learning that seeks the flourishing of its students in mind, body, and soul. Classical education provides the traditional tools of learning – the trivium and the quadrivium – so that students learn to use these tools to become wise and virtuous leaders in all aspects of their lives. Before other styles of education became popular, liberal education rooted in the classic texts of Western civilization was the primary way children were educated. Today, this approach to liberal education has been coined “classical,” indicating a return to and restoration of the style of education that is meant to make us truly free and flourishing.
Classical education is a time-tested approach to learning. In fact, it’s how great minds learned for centuries. It strives to build a firm foundation for students in each phase of their intellectual and social development, acknowledging that a student who is good at math, reading, and writing will be well-equipped later in his education and life.
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