Course Introduction (Free Lesson)

Dr. Perrin introduces this course, which he has designed to provide parents and educators with a clear vision for classical education.

Recommended Reading & Referenced Works

Recommended ClassicalU Courses:

Lecture Notes

Four questions that every educational approach must ask:

  • Who is the student? (Implicitly, what is a human being, and what is the human being for?)
  • What curriculum do we teach?
  • In what setting do we teach?
  • To what ends or purposes do we teach?


The “Pearls” of Classical Education:

  • The Liberal Arts
  • Pedagogy
  • The Great Books
  • Scholé (undistracted time to study the things that are most worthwhile)
  • Virtue


“It was their wonder, astonishment, that first led men to philosophize and still leads them.” —Aristotle, Metaphysics

A First Thing/Principle: “The world is true, good, and beautiful, and we are made such that we can know and perceive and love the things that are true, good, and beautiful.” —Christopher Perrin

Principles that guide us in our pedagogy:

  1. Festina Lente (make haste slowly)
  2. Multum Non Multa (much not many)
  3. Repetitio Mater Memoriae (repetition is the mother of invention)
  4. Embodied learning: the rhythms, practices, traditions, and routines of learning
  5. Songs, chants, and jingles
  6. Wonder and curiosity
  7. Educational virtues: without educational verities we simply lack…a student
  8. Scholé, contemplation, leisure
  9. Docendo Discimus (by teaching we learn)


“Now in history there is no Revolution that is not a Restoration.” —G. K. Chesterton, Manalive

“Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. . . . Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes.” —C. S. Lewis, On Reading Old Books

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. . . . In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.” —G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Latin re: to do again

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. There is nothing progressive about being pig-headed and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think if you look at the present state of the world it’s pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We’re on the wrong road. And if that is so we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.” —C. S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity

Discussion Questions
  • In your country and culture, what would you say are the ideals are that the nation seeks, as revealed in the educational system (curriculum, setting, etc.)?
  • How would you answer the following questions, which Dr. Perrin references as questions every educational approach must ask:
    • Who is the student? (Implicitly, what is a human being, and what is the human being for?)
    • What curriculum do we teach?
    • In what setting do we teach?
    • To what ends or purposes do we teach?
Introduction to Classical Education (PDF)
What is Classical Christian Education? (PDF)


Assignments and Action Steps

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