The Benefits of Classical Education

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The concept of Classical Education is not a new one.  In the face of new curricular trends, Classical Education has endured because of its foundation educating wisdom and virtue.

This article will explore the principles and benefits of Classical Education and demonstrate why its approach continues to persist as a successful foundational model for shaping students’ minds in a holistic way.

Classical Education Builds A Strong Academic Foundation:

The Three Stages of Classical Education

The classical approach relies on the Trivium (or the three stages) of language: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.  Each stage builds on the former, and focuses on developmentally appropriate approaches to learning.

Grammar (Grades K-5)

During the years when children learn quickly through rhyme and melody, basic facts in all major subject areas serve as a foundation upon which to build in later stages.

Logic (Grades 6-8)

During these years, students cultivate their increasing interest in argument by studying logic and reason throughout the curriculum.

Rhetoric (Grades 9 – 12)

Students use their foundation of grammar and logic to organize and effectively communicate  thoughtful and strong arguments.

Classical Education Focuses On Academic Mastery:

The Principles of Classical Education

A leader in Classical Education Theory, Dr. Christopher Perrin, articulates eight principles of Classical Education that, when incorporated, contribute to the whole education of a child.

Make Haste Slowly

Students must discover the opportunity to master their studies, which means taking as much time as required to learn something well.  Rushing achieves no purpose.  This mastery directly contributes to the character of the student.

Much not Many

Acquiring many tidbits of knowledge does not contribute to the overall quality of a student’s intellect.  Instead, choose a few things and learn them well.  A deeper understanding of select subjects embeds knowledge in long term memory.  Superficial learning of many subjects only reaches short term memory, which stores facts that will soon disappear.

Repetition is the Mother of Memory

A review of material in a meaningful way helps solidify important information in long term memory.  Repetition should occur in a way that re-seeks essential fundamentals.

Songs, Chants, and Jingles

Younger students connect easily with new knowledge through songs and jingles.  It is a fun and exciting way to learn new information.

Wonder and Curiosity

Younger students have built-in awe for all things new that teachers can help cultivate by serving as a guide through journeys in curiosity.

Educational Virtues

Educators should serve as cultivators of humanity in students as they grow: helping foster virtues such as humility, temperance, love, diligence, courage, and constancy.

Embodied Education

Educators should incorporate all the senses in their educational approach and should consider these factors when designing any learning environment or approach.  This way, each student has a chance to cultivate not only their mind but body and soul too.


Students must be afforded space for undistracted reflection: a casual, relaxed practice that organically occurs as they learn a subject more deeply.

By Teaching, We Learn

Students teaching other students is a way to learn twice.  Information becomes more solidified as children attempt to share that information with others from their peer group or to younger students.

Classical Education Leads To Long-Term Results:

Classical Education & College Success

By utilizing Classical Education principles and stages, students become multi-faceted, naturally driven, and disciplined thinkers who find success in college.

The Vanguard School

At The Vanguard School, Classical Education is the foundation on which each student learns about the world around them.  Educators guide students in developing their mind, body, and spirit in a way that sets them up for success in college and their years beyond.

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