What is Classical Education?
Classical education is the authoritative, traditional and enduring form of education, begun by the Greeks and Romans over 2000 years ago, developed through history and now being renewed and recovered in the 21st century.
It is a traditional approach to education employing the seven liberal arts and the great books in order to cultivate men and women characterized by wisdom, virtue and eloquence.
During the 20th century, the understanding of classical education was lost with a move to modern progressive education but is now in a resurgence especially in countries such as the United States where over 500 classical schools now operate. In the US, classically educated students generally perform in the top 10-15% in the SATs and are some of the most sought after students by the most prestigious universities and colleges. In comparison, only a small group of classical schools currently exist in Australia but the move to a classical approach to education is increasing.
The Academy will utilise a classical approach to educating our children. This will influence the way we view the child (being of mind/body and soul and in the image and likeness of God), how and in what ways we teach them and the ultimate objectives we choose to pursue. In essence, we teach not merely for temporary knowledge or to pass a test but for the sake of shaping the child's whole character, being and their loves. Everything will be taught within the context of God and His creation.
The classical approach will adopt the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) and the quadrivium (astronomy, arithmetic, music and geometry) making up the seven liberal arts. This is then complimented by the great books that have been written and have stood the test of time. For our younger students this will involve readings from books such as Aesops fables, Hans Christian Anderson, Grimms fairy tales, while more senior students will study writings such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Plato's Republic, Augustine's Confessions, Dostoevsky through to modern day writers such as Lewis and Tolkien. Such writings will expose them to the great conversation from great thinkers and writers regarding questions such as what is man and what is virtue.
At the same time, academic excellence will be a high priority and our children will be exposed to a challenging curriculum that will not only meet the requirements of the Australian curriculum but will include additional areas of study such as Latin and Greek, phonics, the great books and a thorough grounding in the Orthodox Christian faith.
The culmination of this journey are young adults who have developed deep Christian character and virtue and who can think, reason and express themselves well in an ever-changing society.