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what is classical education?

Classical education fosters virtue and wisdom through a fluency of liberal arts and myriad historical minds and documents. While many schools study what other scholars think about the great works (art, history, science, literature, math), Merit Academy scholars study those great works directly. The focus is to understand not only the work itself, but the reasoning and thought upon which those works were created. There is great discussion, hands-on exploration, and discovery within each subject.

This is an excellent overview of classical education, designed and produced by Classical Preporatory School


To make decisions with reason, and to explain clearly with rhetoric, most classical schools follow the developmental taxonomy of learning, the Trivium. In these three phases, students are trained to explore, wonder, and think about the how and why of the subject of discussion.

The trivium's phases include the Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric phases.

In the Grammar phase (elementary school), students learn facts and explore the classical curriculum through E.D.Hirsch Jr.'s Core Knowledge sequence model.

In the Logic phase (middle school), students are provided with logical tools to understand and use those facts.

In the Rhetoric phase (high school), students perfect their ability to relate those facts with others, to reason and explain clearly through articulate communication.  

The demand for classical schools continue to grow because they provide the critical components that prepare students to live meaningful, fulfilling, happy lives as responsible citizens: Intellectual and moral formation through a content-rich curriculum in an inquisitive and traditional classroom environment.


Teaching students how to think provides a much more valuable skillset than teaching students what to think, how to simply access someone else's interpretation of facts on the internet, or to temporarily retain facts without wisdom.

Classical schools teach modern subjects. Merit Academy provides courses in computer sciences, aerospace science, civil air patrol, etc. Some say the classical method is not applicable in the modern, technological age. This argument falters when one considers that the timeless skills of thinking, logic, reasoning, and expression taught to children in classical education are the very skills needed for innovation, invention, solution, leadership, business, self-employment, and so much more.

  This article is a respected summary of classical education

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