Classic education is has one of the most rigorous curricula and is one of the most traditional. Education is considered classical when there is an emphasis on language (normally Latin). Language functions as the foundation of liberal arts.
There is also a concentration on the classical heritage of intellectual and artistic brilliance. Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are taught to develop sophistication in thought and word. There is also demanding training in mathematics and scientific reasoning.
Learning can usually be broken down into two different types: learning to acquire a skill and learning to achieve meaning. Learning to acquire a new skill is knowledge-based, and its end goal is performance. This type of learning is great for those who want to learn how to perform surgery or how to invest in the stock market.
Learning to achieve meaning is a little more difficult to describe, and it is much more than just performance-based. Classic education provides students with the means to develop their intellectual nature. Learning how to reason and think critically are skills that will never age.
Both types of learning are important, but there is an obvious difference between the two. Someone once said that knowledge-based learning can help us “build new roads and bridges, but it cannot explain where we want to go.”
Learning for meaning helps us determine “where we want to go.” We can’t just rely on a road to get us to our end destination without learning how to determine what we need to meet our goal.
For over two thousand years, classic education has been the instrument for conveying meaning from generation to generation. It was the education that was taught to medieval philosophers and to the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
Few students who are taught through knowledge-based learning alone can preserve their applicability because of the world’s constant changes. However, students who receive a classic education learn how to reason, which will apply to all of life’s changes.
Even though this educational method was created over 2,000 years ago, it remains the most pertinent learning model for today. Knowledge-based learning will continue to become outdated as new skills are needed day after day. Learning for meaning will never become that way.