This educational method originates from the middle ages, but has influenced many contemporary schools of thoughts. For example, in 1999, Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise published The Well-Trained Mind, a book that offers homeschooling families a curriculum based on the Trivium.
Even if this method is rarely mentioned in Quebec, it is referenced again and again. In the United States, for example, many online courses use it as a model.
Classical education emphasizes written and spoken language. Course content is delivered through reading within a historical context that is discussed in each class. Literature is therefore organized chronologically, by periods of history.
The classes of classical pedagogy are art, ancient languages, health and sports, history and literature, math and science, and writing and grammar. The preparation and methodology prepare students for exams.
Part one: grammar
Part two: dialectic
Part Three: rhetoric
This method incorporates teaching logic and rhetoric, which means that the parent-educator (the teacher) leads classes with questions and discussions. Grammar includes learning linguistic competencies, including reading and the mechanics of writing. Studying latin and ancient Greek reinforces learning grammar and language in a very rich and complete way.
This educational method, though much lesser known than some others in Quebec, has a lot to offer.
If you and your child need structure and would like to learn language, literature, and ancient languages, and if learning through periods of human history interests you, this pedagogy could be a good fit.
Evidently, this pedagogy requires a real dedication from the parent to provide the child with a rich and complete education through all the child’s learning, from primary to secondary level.
At its foundation, this pedagogy dates from the middle ages. The popularity of this educational method takes origin in the publication, in 1962, of a 54-books serie : the Great Books of the Western World.
For those who are interested, the website The Well-Trained Mind explains the philosophy, the methodology including a list of annotated books classified by age and subject, and demystifies the theory. You can also find an academy, online courses, and social networking groups on the subject.
Thanks to Anik Lambert, Annie Shirley Horne, Geneviève Côté, Patrick Riley, Eva Ketelsen and Suzanne Lagacé