Classical Education Method

The Classical Education Method consists of three educational phases. Each phase is to try to coordinate with the development of the child. It is ideally meant to be tailored to the development of the individual child.

The phases are “Primary Education”, “Secondary Education”, and “Tertiary Education”.

The Primary Education phase is one in which the student learns how to learn (grammar, logic, rhetoric). The Secondary Education uses a conceptual framework to teach all human knowledge. The student is then presented with facts and education to fill in the major fields of knowledge. The helps the student learn the basic skills in which they need to go about every human activity. This is not a specialized education but a broad framework and a basis for further learning. The Tertiary Education is specialized to help the student become fluent in a particular area such as mathematics, law, history, etc.

In Primary Education the instructor is to mainly teach by the Socratic method. This is to engage the students with questions that inspire thinking and problem solving.

In Secondary Education the courses broaden but the Socratic method is still used. The belief is that discussion and brainstorming are the best way to learn. This method of instruction is widely used to teach philosophy and law. There are not many modern subjects other than these where you will see this method put to use.

Originally Tertiary Education was an apprenticeship where one would hone a particular skill. We now rely not only on trade schools but colleges in general for this training.

This method of education is tried and true. However, it requires much of the instructor to present ideas and it would be hard for today’s students to be subjected to things such as standardized testing if these methods were used. It would be hard to measure students against one another. Perhaps this is why some love this educational method, it truly allows the individual to blossom into their own, not conform to something society dictates. This is often a teaching method choice for homeschool families.