AN EXPLANATION OF THE VALUE OF A CLASSICAL EDUCATION
Why St. Charles is adopting this philosophy
In order to fulfill our responsibility to both the parents and students of the parish and community, our parish school has begun a renovation of our curriculum and philosophy of education. This renewal of the spiritual and intellectual life of the school, under a new name, will allow us to better fulfill our role and responsibility to the minds and hearts we are privileged to care for. While for many the benefits of spiritual renewal in a parish school will be obvious, the choice of a classical curriculum may not be – and the connection between that Catholic identity and our new classical identity may be even less so. To that end we have created this explanation and defense of the value of a classical education as a starting point for parents and parishioners who wish to know more about the current revival of a traditional educational philosophy at St Charles Catholic School.
- Classical does not mean old or even time tested - refers specifically to the language and philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome. The goal of the ancients was much the same as ours: To see and embrace truth, goodness, and beauty.
- A classical education is meant to help students learn how to think, rather than merely teaching them “subjects.”
- A classical education is accessible to all students regardless of their background or perceived aptitude. Instructors are free to employ all methods appropriate to the age and ability of their students and experience proves the progression from grammar to logic and then on to rhetoric is well suited to the developing abilities of the elementary-aged student.
- The key to success in a classical education is rigor on the part of the instructors and discipline on the part of the students. When these two meet, excellence – what the Greeks called arête – is the result.
- It is the purpose of St. Charles School to provide a true education which will satisfy this universal hunger in our youth for purpose, identity, and a firm grounding in faith. We choose a classical education as the most fitting tool for this timeless labor of forming the minds and hearts of the next generation of saints.
- Students will be reading more primary sources for history, and in English classes, reading historical novels to tie in with their history classes. “All the classes are very much intertwined. What they're reading in English should correspond to what they're learning in history, and in history should be able to carry over to the virtues they're learning about in religion, so it's all very integrated.”
- We believe that by exposing children to the best stories, books, languages, music, art, to the most perfect examples of faith in the life of the saints, and to the revealed truth of scripture, we can awaken in them the ability to recognize and the desire to embrace the true, the good, and beautiful.
- In such times as ours, education must train and arm youth for their role in the Church, providing the intellectual instruction to help them walk “circumspectly: not as unwise, but as wise: impelling them to put on the “whole armor of God” that they might contend “against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” To this end, we view daily mass, constant prayer, Eucharistic adoration, and ongoing religious instruction as indispensable aids to our mission.
- Students who take Latin consistently lead the nation in verbal and quantitative reasoning.
- We hear all too often that when it comes to technical training our colleges can only provide an increasingly obsolete education at increasingly high cost. The fact of the matter is that technology changes too rapidly for colleges to keep up. What employers need is not technicians, but learners.
- A young adult formed in the classical model, (a systematic education rising from the factual basis (grammar) through the internal reasoning (logic) to the articulation (rhetoric) of his master of a subject), is prepared to discover the logic of systems, has the mental alacrity to learn a new subject themselves and the verbal mastery to teach it to their peers on the job.
- Our goal is not merely to prepare children to be citizens of the Republic or even of the world, but to be citizens of the City of God.
To learn more about the classical model or the upcoming changes at St. Charles Catholic School please contact Ann Lachowitzer, Principal, or call us at 816-436-1009.