In essence, classical education is an education committed to words, the past, the classical languages, and to helping students think, write, and communicate well. Beyond simply getting a job or making money, at Augustine School we affirm that education is to help shape and form wise and virtuous young men and women who are learning to submit all things to the universal lordship of Christ.
Although we often succeed in teaching our pupils ‘subjects,’ we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: They learn everything, except the art of learning.
- Dorothy Sayers
A classical education is also a model of education that has produced some of the finest thinkers, inventors, scientists, mathematicians, writers, and leaders the world has ever seen:
As a member of the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS), Augustine School is part of a growing movement to recover the classical Christian model of education that has proven so successful throughout Western history. Although the primary benefit of this model of education is its ability to cultivate wisdom and virtue, ACCS schools have also consistently proven their ability to meet and exceed the highest standards for college preparation as measured by college entrance exams, such as the SAT.
A classical education puts a high premium on the written and spoken word. This is appropriate, since the God of Scripture has chosen to speak to us through words.
The goal of classical education was the formation of a certain type of person—a wise and virtuous person. As Christians we construe this goal in a more distinctively Christian way. The goal of education is the formation of a wise and virtuous Christian person, who has learned “to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10).
As C.S. Lewis has written, “The educated man habitually, almost without noticing it, sees the present as something that grows out of a long perspective of centuries.” By paying attention to the past, our modern blinders are at least partially removed and we are able to see and understand our own age more clearly.
A classical education includes a retrieval of the languages of classical antiquity—Greek and Latin. Perhaps the most important reason to study such languages is simply that they are the languages of our cultural inheritance, and to be educated means to understand and know one’s past.
The study of Greek and Latin are also worthy of our attention because through the study of these languages, we learn our own language and its grammar more thoroughly, our critical and logical thinking skills are honed, our English vocabulary improves, and our abilities in other areas such as math improve immensely.
A truly excellent education should result in students who think and communicate well, whether through the spoken or written word. Whether in debate, in letters meant to persuade, or in various leadership positions, a classical education forms students who are able to present themselves in a winsome and eloquent manner.