What is Classical Education?
CLASSICAL EDUCATION is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty by means of the seven liberal arts and the four sciences. Historically, classical education has followed two streams that frequently flow together:
The Rhetorical, in which teachers guide their students to contemplate great texts and works of art, believing that such contemplation will enable them to grow in wisdom and virtue and
The Philosophical, in which teachers guide their students through an analysis of ideas through a Socratic dialogue, believing that insight into the heart of things will enable students to grow in wisdom and virtue.
These two emphases, which have often been in conflict historically but are not mutually exclusive, gave rise to two modes of instruction: the Mimetic and the Socratic.
Another way to define classical education might be as follows: “Classical education is the logocentric, idealistic quest to cultivate virtue in the souls of the student.”
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