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Course Introduction: Introduction to Classical Education

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

Recommended ClassicalU Courses:

Outline of Session
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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)
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What is Classical Christian Education? (PDF)
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Assignments and Action Steps

13 Comments

  1. Hannah Krienke

    For years, I have struggled to put an emotional I carry with me into words…a solemn check that keeps me humbled when I approach something ancient or beautiful. The poem referenced here helped me to identify it: not just one word, but an idea…that facts apart from truth and beauty hold no meaning. We can learn algorithms and regurgitate numbers, but if we don’t find beauty in what we are being taught, it will not stay. Thank you for this introduction. The next time I find myself struck by this idea, I’ll be able to explain it.

    • Jessica Rushing

      Agreed, and I would further that statement by saying if we don’t know ‘why’ it is beautiful, good, and true then it will not stay. I love how this course explains that everything we learn is from those that have gone before us. An accumulation of all their experiences and sacrifices are what we use to find the truth instead of created “facts” substituted for truths. We are already seeing those chaoses happen within our states by the tearing down of history which is a tearing down of our connections to the past from which we learn from to not repeat or to reform, revive, re-approbate, to resuscitate. We all want to progress but we should not progress just for the sake of progress.

  2. lizwhetstone

    I feel like I have awakened from a deep sleep! My public education has robbed me of this rich and satisfying truth, wisdom and beauty. Our minds were given nothing to feast upon! I have always wondered why our Founding Fathers were more educated. What happened to us? Besides my anger at the weak and empty progressive education I have received, let me say how thankful I am to all you for creating this. The joy and pleasure and hope is all so refreshing. I will not let my children only know the shadows on the wall and think that is all there is.

  3. russelpolk

    I have to say I am daunted. Over the past 10 years, well, Trace Adkins said it best, “I’ve gotten dull as old barbed wire from living.” Mt. Rainier is a hunk of rock with ice on it. Flowers are pretty, but they are just another flower in the long line of flowers I have seen. Dr. Perrin, you speak of wonder as being foundational. I have lost it. Can I pursue this course without it? If not, how do I recover it and then proceed? I caught a glimpse of it when I attended the Repairing the Ruins conference in Atlanta. Now that I am home, I have been trying to find some way to plug in to classical education, to no avail. I’m in the middle of changing careers. This course is my starting place, I suppose.

  4. Alaba Ajileye

    Thank you Dr. Perrin for this introduction, if I trace back your Dictionary styled definition of Classical Education that says” it is rooted in Western Civilisation and culture”, how can Africans truly benefit from it or contextualise it to our own cultural setting?

    • thenortons02

      If we consider classical education as the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, beauty and goodness by means of the seven liberal arts in order that we might know God and make him known, then that most certainly applies to all cultures. The heart of classical education is to become more fully Human and so classical education is for all humans. The wisdom of the ancient writers can apply across all cultures but the seven liberal arts can be applied to African history, fables, songs, etc. I would encourage you to listen to “Ask Andrew” on the Circe Center podcast if you can as he has several episodes answering this question specifically.

  5. Damon Soko

    As many others have said elsewhere: if only I could go back and start my education again, this time with CCE! I cannot, but I hope to hand this on to my children and others…

    • SisterTahira

      As the lecturer stated, our mere presence in the class shows our readiness for the content. No need to go back in time, just recover and recreate the classical education for ourselves, in hopes of restoring it for the next generation.

  6. Logan Peck

    This course is exactly what I have been looking for! It articulates many of the failings I have observed in the public schooling system for which I was unable to name or suggest solutions. At 24, I am looking forward to undertaking this training to further understand Classical Education and see whether this is a system that would be beneficial for us here in New Zealand.

  7. SisterTahira

    Born and raised in the USA, I like to see the melange of culture from around the world preserved and protected here. The good and the beautiful within the fabric of our culture are the freedoms and liberties upheld in the constitution. In order for the fabric to be renewed and reaffirmed, our children must know the values and responsibilities intrinsically tied to our freedoms and liberties. Without morals and virtue, the values and responsibilities are ignored and neglected. The course of 2020 has made it clear that our education system is not cultivating moral and virtue.

  8. SisterTahira

    In answering the questions to the educational approach, they’re dictated by my personal beliefs, which are governed by the holy scriptures of Islam. If anyone would like to discuss further, please inquire. Thank you.

    • Jesse Hake

      Tahira, thank you for sharing. These principals of classical and liberal arts education have been a blessing for thousands of years to humans across many places and cultures. We are glad to hear that you have been engaged with this content. Our belief is that these principals have application and blessing for all people regardless of specific cultures and faiths. At the same time, a couple of our other courses do cover profound faith-based connections that have developed over the course of history between the classical liberal arts traditions and the Christian faith (such as The Catholic Tradition of Classical Education with Dr. Andrew Seeley). Several subscribers over the years have noted that connections such as these are also deeply present in some parallel ways within other Abrahamic faiths such as Islam and Judaism. Most of our courses would apply in any school or home school, and we have had schools in Islamic and Jewish communities contact us about using our resources which we are glad to share. We believe in truth and therefore that differences between different faiths are real and important. Therefore, it makes sense that your own answers to questions in this course would be influenced by your own faith. At the same time, we all share our humanity as well as a common heritage in connection to the classical liberal arts tradition. This makes it possible for all of us to benefit and to learn within this broader human tradition.

  9. tlcteacher

    I am a retired public school teacher, who has long felt cheated of my education. My experience as a student) was that something was sorely lacking. From Dick and Jane, to Undergrad English 101, and the feminist primer used, to my Masters in Reading Ed training in Whole Language (while I argued with my Prof that English is based on a phonetic alphabet) I was disappointed. Then my 34+ years of teaching experience and subsequent “continued training” from the IU… Needless to say, many, many hours were spent creating my own curricula and lessons. Now I know why. I was using much of what is here intuitively.

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