Classical Education at ERA

The greatest thinkers throughout the ages, including Archimedes, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Shakespeare, and Thomas Jefferson, all had one thing in common: a Classical Education. A Classical Education represents a return to a time-tested educational philosophy that was standard in the United States and the western world until the early 20th century. In recent years, Classical schools have revived across the nation, with amazing results.

Classical Education utilizes:

  • a systematic, building-block approach to learning
  • a focus on core academic subjects and the study of some of the greatest works in the history of the western world
  • historical timeframes to structure learning (Ancient, Medieval, Modern)
  • integration across subject disciplines
  • a pattern of education known as the Trivium

Read more about Classical Education at Eagle Ridge Academy

Benefits of a Classical Education include:

  • higher student achievement
  • greater satisfaction among teachers and parents
  • inspiration for a life-long passion for learning
  • the encouragement of each student’s natural sense of curiosity and discovery
  • training of the mind in the fundamental intellectual habits of critical and logical thought, persuasive writing and speaking, and the recognition of truth, beauty and goodness
  • preparation for participation in public life and debate
  • cultivation of the character traits that lead to a virtuous life: integrity, honesty, respect, perseverance, self-discipline, and hard work

Read more about Friends of Education on Classical Education and the Trivium

There is a rich history of the Classical tradition. The Greco-Roman period was one of intense and multifaceted exploration of knowledge and learning, as well as the human virtues, most particularly good citizenship and the triad of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Classical Education today also includes a spectrum of traditions. Moral Classicism focuses on the virtues. Democratic Classicism encourages good citizenship and embodies a more humanist approach. Liberating Classicism seeks to develop students’ natural capacities and individual potential, using Classical resources to achieve academic excellence.

Classicism in the Christian west developed in phases. Medieval scholasticism emphasized dialectic and logic. Renaissance humanism focused on literature and rhetoric. Both of these traditions uphold the importance of learning and embodying the Trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The Trivium applies to stages of human learning. During the grammar stage, individuals learn the grammar level information – the foundational facts – of a particular discipline. During the logic stage, individuals understand the logical reasoning behind particular disciplines. During the rhetoric stage, individuals work on the art of speaking and writing articulately with adequate reasoning and support.

In each stage of the Trivium, various instructional methodologies are utilized. Teacher-led instruction is a method of straight forward, explicit teaching techniques, usually to teach a specific skill. Mimetic instruction leads students to new understanding of an idea and perceptions of truth by contemplating types (examples) of the idea. Dialectic (Socratic) questioning is the process of examining an idea by “deconstructing” it to find weaknesses and inconsistencies in one’s understanding then “reconstructing” it to purify one’s perceptions of the truth. Seminar discussion requires participants to seek deeper understanding of complex ideas through thoughtful dialogue.

Many schools choose to work out of some particular aspect(s) of the Classical tradition. Eagle Ridge Academy deliberately takes the best from several traditions. As educators deeply immersed in and dedicated to the Classical tradition, we have crafted a detailed and comprehensive Classical approach, designed to enrich, ennoble, and educate our students.

The Classical Co-op is comprised of a group of faculty and staff passionate about Classical Education. Since its origin in 2011, the Classical Co-op has established a robust Classical environment for staff, students, and parents including a Classical Teacher Certificate Program; parent book studies, trainings, and guest speakers; and the training and implementation of teaching techniques to cultivate wisdom and virtue within our students. The most recent work of the Co-op has focused on the role of technology in the Classical tradition. In its search for the answer, the Co-op engaged in thoughtful contemplation and careful research to document the use of technology at Eagle Ridge Academy as we seek to enrich, ennoble, and educate our students. “Technology in the Classical Tradition: Eagle Ridge Academy” is the final document presented by the Co-op to communicate the Academy’s beliefs on the role of technology here at Eagle Ridge Academy. As you read through the list of statements, please consider the words of Dr. Christopher Perrin, author, consultant, and speaker on Classical Education:

“Education is the cultivation of our human faculties, like words and reasoning. If we replace a human faculty with technology, the human faculty is diminished. If we can show that we are using technology to cultivate the virtues in our children and students, then it has a case.”

Click here to read more about Technology and Classical Education at Eagle Ridge Academy.