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Lesson 2: Clear Words for Classical Education

In this session, Dr. Perrin argues for the recovery of meaningful vocabulary for talking and thinking about classical education and provides a glossary of more than 20 key terms.

Recommended Reading

Recommended ClassicalU Courses:

Outline of Session

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Discussion Questions
  • What was the original aim of classical education?
  • What was the original meaning of the “liberal arts”?
  • How might you counter the claim of a critic that classical education is elitist?
  • How do you use published curriculum as the teacher rather than let the published curriculum be the teacher?
  • What must a human being have to truly be a student?
Introduction to Classical Education (PDF)

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What Is Classical Christian Education? (PDF)

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A Small Glossary of Educational Vocabulary (PDF)

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6 Comments

  1. Caroline Cappuccio

    Discussion Questions
    1. What was the original aim of classical education?
    The full enculturation of children with a full cycle of studies throughout their education and raising them to be fully prepared citizens. This was the responsibility of whole society.
    2. What was the original meaning of the “liberal arts”?
    The cultivation of man to be prepared in the ability to communicate using words (grammar, logic, rhetoric) and equipped to master language, numbers, and art (geometry, music, arithmetic, and astronomy).
    3. How might you counter the claim of a critic that classical education is elitist?
    Wisdom, especially in our culture today, is intimidating. When Saul saw that David was successful, skillful, and wise he was afraid of him. To those who are not pursuing wisdom, virtue, truth, goodness, beauty, and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ themselves, these themes in classical education will at the surface seem “elitist” from an uninformed, uninvolved perspective. I might counter the claim by telling the critic that classical education is not elitist in a prideful sense, but rather in a humble sense of modeling and cultivating a life-long love of learning which naturally produces well-rounded, wise, knowledgeable citizens of the world.
    4. How do you use published curriculum as the teacher rather than let the published curriculum be the teacher?
    The published curriculum are the tools that we use as we teach the curriculum.
    5. What must a human being have to truly be a student?
    To truly be a student, one must be zealous for knowledge and eager for truth, goodness, and beauty. The zeal of the student will produce diligence in their pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue throughout the course of their education and their lifelong journey of learning and growing into the fullest version of their self as an image-bearer of God, redeemed and continuously being transformed by Jesus Christ as they glorify and enjoy God in all their pursuits.

    • jhake

      Thank you for sharing your responses with others viewing this lesson. What a great way to contribute to this experience for others.

  2. TLujan

    Thank you! I enjoy this series. I also enjoy becoming a student (as I now understand one to be) once again – if for the first time.

  3. Damon Soko

    Who would have thought that a word study could be so profound! Happy to be an eager student of such material 🙂

  4. Fotini Hamplova

    thank you, that was very interesting

  5. granted

    What was the original aim of classical education?

    The original aim of classical education was to teach what is good, true, and beautiful to children from the ages of seven to twenty.

    What was the original meaning of the “liberal arts”?

    The liberal arts were the components of a classical education. They were arithmetic, rhetoric, logic, geometry, geography, music, and astronomy. The seven liberal arts together formed a complete classical education.

    How might you counter the claim of a critic that classical education is elitist?

    A part of classical education is community. Every member of a community should be helping to raise every child to know what is good, true, and beautiful.

    How do you use published curriculum as the teacher rather than let the published curriculum be the teacher?

    A curriculum is what is taught, not what materials are used. Teachers can change, remove, or add materials to what is being taught to help the student get the best education possible. The teacher, not the materials, should be doing the teaching; the materials should simply be an aid for the teacher.

    What must a human being have to truly be a student?

    A person needs to be zealous and eager to learn in order to be a true student.

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