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Classical Christian Education

What is it?

A Biblical Worldview

The Key Ingredient


Thinking Biblically

A liberal arts education is meant to produce a well educated and well-rounded individual. For this reason, SCA is committed to the belief that the classical approach to education is the best approach to education when taught from a biblical worldview. SCA guides its students to think biblically with the hope that they will submit their lives to the authority of Christ and use their intellectual competency for the purposes of God.

A Second Opportunity for Parents

In conclusion, it is important to point out one of the greatest advantages of educating children at home: the parents have a second chance to receive the education that may have been missed.

Even the well educated learn profoundly more the second time around.

It is well known that the best way to learn is to be forced to teach!

The Influence of Dorothy Sayers

Modern Resurgence of Classical Education


Dorothy Sayers

Dorothy Sayers was an English writer who graduated from Oxford. In 1947 while at Oxford, Sayers presented an essay entitled “The Lost Tools of Learning.” In the early 90’s her essay captured the attention of educators and has become one of the most widely read essays on classical education.

The modern resurgence of classical education can be attributed to an essay written by Dorothy Sayers.

Although Sayers was not an educator herself, she does address the problems of modern education in terms that speak to the heart and mind of those who have passed through the system and found their education inadequate. She also gives parents a type of syllabus to follow. Her essay has proven to be a wonderful starting point for those seeking a better way to teach and be taught.

The Classical Approach

The classical approach to education is based upon the medieval scheme of education. The medieval syllabus consists of seven disciplines of academic study:

This approach teaches students to think well in all of areas of knowledge and to come to the realization that all areas of knowledge are interconnected. Although the aim of the medieval scholars was not to understand God, these “subjects,” or pieces of knowledge, teach some of the communicable attributes of God in a way that His finite image-bearers can, whether intentionally or unintentionally, reflect His character.

The Fruit

Moving from Parts to Whole

Classical Pedagogy

The scope of these disciplines may seem far too grand for the young students to approach; yet when approached incrementally, moving from parts to whole, they are not.

Classical pedagogy begins with the end in mind and maps out the coursework moving downward to the starting point - there students begin to learn. At this point, with the rudiments of each subject being taught incrementally, the students carefully move from part to whole until they reach the level of required mastery, or the “end.”

For example, classical education does not simply teach students to read; instead, literacy begins by teaching the students that a word is made up of phonograms, that when combined carry meaning in written and spoken language. The students first learn the foundational phonograms as well as corresponding spelling rules.

Once they are able to identify these phonograms in writing and are shown how to decode, they naturally begin to read.

Philosophy of Public Education

Philosophy of Christian Classical Education


The Trivium Explained

The Parts of the Trivium

Often, classical education is thought of as a defined three-stage process called the trivium. A closer look reveals that the trivium is an instructional method that includes the three elements of the classical disciplines.

  1. Grammar
  2. Logic
  3. Rhetoric.

Pedagogy

This pedagogy is applied from the earliest lessons, both formal and informal. Parents and teachers alike realize that all humans, regardless of age, experience changing stages of development. In order to meet the needs of the developing students so that they can gradually comprehend, the best teachers instruct by applying the three elements as they are appropriate.

Learn more: Understanding the Trivium

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.

G.K. Chesterton