Classical Education/talk

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This is useful coverage of what people in the educational reform, charter school, private school, and home school movement mean by 'classical education'. It's going to take some rewriting to get it to reflect either education in the classical period (which I'm not about to try) or the real trivium and quadrivium, which are medieval concepts. The curren list of what the quadrivium means today is especially odd!

    • (In modern terms, these fields would be called natural science, accounting and business, fine arts (at least two, one to amuse companions, and another to decorate one's domicile), and military strategy and tactics, engineering, agronomy, and architecture.)

--MichaelTinkler


That all teachers of the method died in one generation without replacement sounds like one of those extraordinary claims that require at least good proof! -rmhermen


I agree with rmhermen. The statement was overly broad, inspired by the tremendous difficulty I had researching the topic. Jessie Wise & Susan Bauer claim to have an unbroken classical tradition. However there's no doubt that Deweyism killed off classicism at most teacher's colleges in the US. I edited this in.

As for the medieval meanings of "trivium" and "quadrivium", I am not a classical scholar, and I encourage corrections. Everything I've read seems to indicate that students were expected to know about everything, at least in some basic form. E.g., The classic study in architecture (The ten books by Vitruvius) tells how to do everything from laying out cities to burning bricks. Knowing everything is an unreasonable goal, but pursuing it makes for a glorious education- In classical education, as I understand it, you don't have to -do- it (this is Deweyism), just -read- about it, which saves a -lot- of time and busywork. -rgvandewalker


Vitruvius is part of my regular teaching material, and believe me, if he's all a student learned about burning bricks, the Grandeur that was Rome wouldn't have been very grand. It's an ideal of education, and it was never much a reality. In fact, classical education had nothing at all to do with the technical arts. Educated, free men looked down on those who worked with their hands. We're talking about a much more rigidly hierarchical society than that of today. But that aside... --MichaelTinkler