Classical Curriculum .pdf
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Exploring Classical Curriculum
If you have any involvement in education, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the classical
curriculum movement. There are a number of different people who have really started to push
this sort of education as being important to the educational process.
Classical curriculum uses three levels of education – primary education, secondary education,
and tertiary education.
Primary education is for younger students, secondary education is for older students, and tertiary
education is what many of us refer to as college.
Primary education focuses on grammar (language), rhetoric (the ability to argue and
debate with others), and logic (the ability to process information and make sense of it).
Since many curricula now focus on testing requirements, primary students do not get as
many of these elements and most schools don’t explore some of them until secondary
education has begun.
Secondary education used to be referred to as the “quadrivium", focusing on four main
areas of thought – geometry, music, arithmetic, and astronomy. These areas of thought
are much more abstract, which helps to challenge students that were used to working with
tangible objects and ideas. Students that are in secondary education learn how to
manipulate ideas better, and to utilize those ideas in order to discover how the world
around them came to be.
Tertiary education is what has developed into university or college for many of us. This
is where a student would learn the specific skills that they would need in order to succeed
in a particular field. Classical curriculum is where the modern idea of “majors” and
“minors” have come into play at universities. In some schools that work with classical
curriculum, they will also start this sort of teaching methodology during their high school
years, in places such as tech schools or by working with colleges to do early start
programs for some general education courses.
If you’re looking for a school that uses a primary classical curriculum as part of their
educational system, then you will want to check out East Lake Academy, a private, Roman
Catholic school that is supported by the Chicago Archdiocese. Check out their website at
http://eastlakeacademy.org, or, call them at 847.247.0035.
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