What No One Tells You About Classical Education: Part 2

There was a comment from a reader, Levi, in regards to my March blog post, What No One Tells You About Classical Education. In the comment, I’m challenged to consider seeing a Greek Classical Education in a different light than I do the Principle Approach® method of education. I needed to take time to consider the points made and to research before replying. If you’d like to read the full comment from this reader, visit the link provided above. For the sake of time, I’m quoting aspects of his comment to reply to. And Levi, if you’re reading this post, thank you for your comment; I enjoyed considering what you had to say.

Please keep in mind that this is not my normal format for my blog posts. However, I thought that Levi had some good questions and that maybe other readers have them as well. This is an attempt to answer the questions and to clarify about the Principle Approach® method of education.

Classical Education: A Question of Philosophy

Principled Academy, The Principled Academy, Principle Approach, Principle Approach Method, The Principle Approach, Classical Education, Biblical Classical Education, Greek Education vs Hebrew Education, Homeschooling Torah, Homeschooling Bible, Homeschooling Scripture

The Challenge: “I would like to pose a three challenges: concerning the Greeks’ views, what Christians may take from the Greeks, and what Christians are doing with Classical Education now.” -Levi (a reader)

Reader’s Comment:

“Although the Greeks were certainly pagans, should Christians therefore ignore everything they wrote an thought?”

Principled Academy’s Reply:

It isn’t a matter of ignoring what the Greeks thought and wrote. For instance, the Noah Plan® overviews suggest learning about the influences of Pagan music, art, government, literature, etc. With the Principle Approach® method we don’t elevate these things. Rather, we research ideas and actions and compare them to what Scripture teaches and reason from Scripture what is truth. We compare and contrast and hold God’s standard as the highest standard to living– in thought and deed.


Reader’s Comment:

“Christian classical educators today often describe themselves just that way: Christian classical educators. They tend not to look only to the Greeks for their educational philosophies but also to the Medieval Christians, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Christian tradition of this country, and more besides.”

Principled Academy’s Reply:

A Principle Approach® educator develops their Philosophy of Education based on what the Bible teaches about education. This is done via word studies that apply the 4R-Method of Research, Reason, Relate and Record. Whereas, Classical Educators do not go to the Word of God in every subject to do so.

To study about different people groups and cultures in history is different from turning to them to develop one’s philosophy of education. One must then adopt the heart of education of pagans to incorporate it into their philosophy. This would then be contrary to a Classical Biblical worldview. I think that the charts in the What No One Tells You About Classical Education blog post illustrate this clearly.

Can much be learned from the Greeks, Medieval Christians, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Christian tradition of this country, and others? Yes! We can look to see Yahweh’s Providential Hand throughout History (His Story). We can look at the cause to effect and by doing so, turning to the Word of God for answers. There are many life-lessons to be learned from studies.


Reader’s Comment:

“Christian classical educators themselves disagree about the definition of Christian classical education. While the Trivium definition you presented above is common, other common definitions include the seven liberal arts, the study of classical languages like Latin and Greek, the goals of Wisdom & Virtue, the study of the Great Books, the means of True, Good, & Beautiful artifacts, etc. Christian classical education is a two-thousand year-old tradition; it’s complicated.”

Principled Academy’s Reply:

That does sound complicated! I needed to do a little research to help me sort this out…

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Classical, adj.

1. Relating to ancient Greek and Roman authors of the first rank or estimation, which, in modern times, have been and still are studied as the best models of fine writing. Thus, Aristotle, Plato, Demosthenes, Thucydides, etc., among the Greeks, and Cicero, Virgil, Livy, Sallust, Cesar, and Tacitus, among the Latins, are classical authors. Hence,

2. Pertaining to writers of the first rank among the moderns; being of the first order; constituting the best model or authority as an author; as, Addison and Johnson are English classical writers. Hence classical denotes pure, chaste, correct, refined; as a classical taste; a classical style.

Given these definitions, it seems the commonality among all Greek Classical forms of education hold the ancient Greek and Roman authors as the high standard… the first rank of estimation.

A Biblical Classical Education is defined as:

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Classic, noun

1. An author of the first rank; a writer whose style is pure, correct, and refined;

A Principle Approach® educator holds God up as such. Biblical Classical Educators turn to God’s Word as constituting the best model or authority as an author… as The Author who inspired men to write His Word for mankind. That is not to say that the study of the Greek and Latin languages are not done. However, some of us incorporate the Hebrew language as well.


Reader’s Comment:

“I don’t mean to say that the Principle Approach® is all wrong, there is a lot of good in it and throughout it. I myself had the privilege of taking a Providential American History class in High School, and I am glad I was given that opportunity.”

Principled Academy’s Reply:

No worries; you come across as appreciating the Principle Approach® method. That’s wonderful that you were able to partake in a Providential American History class in High School. What a blessing for you and our country!


Reader’s Comment:

“What I do hope I’ve communicated is that no matter what educational philosophy one ascribes to, other philosophies and educators can often open one’s eyes.”

Principled Academy’s Reply:

I appreciate your time, Levi, to visit Principled Academy and to share your thoughts and perspective. I hope that I’ve been able to clarify the contrasts between a Greek  Classical Philosophy of Education with that of a Biblical Classical Education, and how to study various subjects in light of Scripture… uphold the Bible as constituting the best model or authority as an author. This method of education is rich and produces excellent results as seen in the PEERS test results.

Blessings,
The Principled Academy, Principled Academy, Principle Approach, Homeschool, Hebrew Homeschool, Homeschool Torah

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