A Brief History of Classical Education

with Dr. Matthew Post of the University of Dallas

Learn about the Greek Contribution to Classical Education




Let’s begin!

Learn about the Roman Contribution to Classical Education

Learn about the history of classical education with Dr. Mathew Post.

The Catholic Tradition of Classical Education

with Dr. Andrew Seeley



This course presents a pithy introduction and overview of ancient and medieval education, tracing the roots and genesis of the classical tradition of education. Dr. Post is a precise and clear teacher who does a superb job of summarizing and capturing the essence of important thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine and their contributions to the classical tradition of education. This course is a fundamental course for any teacher wishing to understand how the classical tradition of education started and grew.






Teachers taking this course will also enjoy hearing Dr. Post’s insights and passion for education in the recorded conversations with Dr. Christopher Perrin.

This course is divided into 11 presentations, each featuring Dr. Matthew Post of the University of Dallas. The end of the course also features several conversations between Dr. Post and Dr. Christopher Perrin, in which they discuss the important ancient and medieval thinkers and their contributions to the classical tradition of education.   Within the lessons below, you will find video lectures, session outlines, recommended readings, questions for discussion and reflection, and additional recommended resources.


  • Lesson 1: Classical and Medieval Ideas of Leisure (Scholé) and Learning
  • Lesson 2: The History of American Education
  • Lesson 3: Education in the Medieval World
  • Lesson 4: The History of Ancient Education
  • Lesson 5: Leisure and the Beautiful
  • Lesson 6: Aristotle and Classical Education
  • Lesson 7: Aristotle and Classical Education—Continued
  • Lesson 8: Aristotle and Classical Education—Continued
  • Lesson 9: Plato and Classical Education
  • Lesson 10: Plato and Classical Education—Continued
  • Lesson 11: Summary and Conclusion
  • Discussion 1: Scholé (Leisure) and Classical Education
  • Discussion 2: The True, Good, and Beautiful in Classical Education
  • Discussion 3: American and Classical Education Compared
  • Discussion 4: Vocational Training and Classical Education
  • Discussion 5: Classical Education and the “Yearning for Being”
  • Discussion 6: University of Dallas Graduate Program for Classical Teachers
  • End of Course Test

Dr. Matthew Post is the assistant dean of the Braniff Graduate School (University of Dallas) and directs the master of arts in humanities with a classical education concentration. Dr. Post has training and expertise in the liberal arts, philosophy, and political philosophy. He has taught courses on the ancient world, Plato, Augustine, political thought and philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Dr. Post is an ardent advocate of the renewal of classical education and works with classical schools and educators throughout the US.








Dr. Post mentions and recommends the following helpful books at various times throughout this course.


Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator by David Diener.

Please Note: ClassicalU is currently developing a certification to accompany our course offerings. The certification credit component of this course is now active but also undergoing refinement and testing.

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete the quiz that follows each presentation by Dr. Post, and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test and requires that you upload a short essay (of 400-600 words) demonstrating your the course content. When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will magically appear under the “My Courses” section of this website.

For this course chose one of the following essays to answer as part of your end of course test.

  • Describe the important contributions that Plato made to the development of the classical tradition of education.
  • Describe the important contributions that Aristotle made to the development of classical education.

By taking the course for certification credit, you also will be on your way to obtaining a Level 2 certification. This course counts toward our Level 2 certification, but it can be taken by anyone—even those still working their Level 1 certification on ClassicalU.

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