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What is a Classical Education?

At Hill Country Christian School, we believe that we offer parents and students something different than other educational institutions in our area. We define these distinctives as our “3 Cs.”

3Cs

  • Christ-centered Community
  • Classical Education
  • College-preparatory Curriculum

In this new blog series, we’d like to discuss in depth one of these Cs: Classical education. You may be wondering, just what is a Classical education?

What is a Classical Education?

Hill Country Christian School subscribes to a Classical philosophy of education that requires students to master a common core of the liberal arts and sciences while developing the skills to be life-long learners and effective communicators. A Classical education recognizes the universal and eternal truths revealed in Scripture and reflected in the pre-eminent cultures, philosophies, and literature produced by Western civilization. The primary goal of a Classical school is to transcend simple knowledge and skills by developing wisdom and eloquence in its students. A Classically educated student is one who honors virtue, defends truth, recognizes falsehood, celebrates beauty, speaks articulately, writes persuasively, and pursues excellence in all endeavors.

Classical education is a not only a philosophy, however, it is also a curriculum and a methodology. Therefore, its definition and implementation can vary from school to school. As we frequently say, if you ask 100 different Classical schools to define “Classical education,” you will get 100 different answers!

How Does Hill Country Define a Classical Education?

Classical education is a time-tested approach that aligns instruction and curriculum to a child’s cognitive development and consists of three stages known as the Trivium, which creates a progression of learning from knowledge to understanding to wisdom:

  • Grammar (memorization and foundational skills) in grades PK-4
  • Logic (logic and critical thinking) in grades 5-8
  • Rhetoric (art of effective communication and reasoning) in grades 9-12
Trivium Stage Grades Academic Focus Biblical Correspondent
Grammar PK-4 Information Acquisition
Foundational Skills
Knowledge
Logic 5-8 Comprehension
Logic
Critical Thinking
Understanding
Rhetoric 9-12 Application
Effective Communication
Reasoning
Wisdom

 

Curriculum and biblical worldview are integrated across subject areas so that students develop depth of knowledge and wisdom, equipping them to become independent, critical thinkers and life-long learners who impact the world with the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ.

In future posts we will be exploring the Trivium in greater depth, as well as what each of these stages looks like in practice at Hill Country.

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