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.