Classical education movement

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The Classical education movement advocates a form of education based in the traditions of Western culture, with a particular focus on education as understood and taught in the Middle Ages.

The term "classical education" has been used in English for several centuries, with each era modifying the definition and adding its own selection of topics. By the end of the 18th century, in addition to the trivium and quadrivium of the Middle Ages, the definition of a classical education embraced study of literature, poetry, drama, philosophy, history, art, and languages.[1] In the 20th and 21st centuries it is used to refer to a broad-based study of the liberal arts and sciences, as opposed to a practical or pre-professional program.[1]

Contents


History

The curricula and pedagogy of classical education was first developed during the Middle Ages by Martianus Capella, and systematized during the Renaissance by Petrus Ramus. Capella's original goal was to provide a systematic, memorable framework to teach all human knowledge.

The overall organization

Classical education developed many of the terms now used to describe modern education. Western classical education has three phases, each with a different purpose. The phases are roughly coordinated with human development, and would ideally be exactly coordinated with each individual student's development.

"Primary education" teaches students how to learn.

"Secondary education" then teaches a conceptual framework that can hold all human knowledge (history), and then fills in basic facts and practices of the major fields of knowledge, and develops the skills (perhaps in a simplified form) of every major human activity.

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