Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 5 (2)


Most people mistakenly think classical education means adding a chronological study of history and literature and Latin to the curriculum. These courses may provide classical content, but they are not inherently studied classically.

Most modern students study history and foreign language throughout high school and still leave with no idea on how to learn something new on their own or how to integrate the grammar of one subject into the philosophy of another.

Yet, at its core, the classical model is just good thinking. Mark Van Doren in his book Liberal Education explains, “All human work has its grammar, rhetoric, and logic; every man practices them his life long. He practices them better when he knows that he is doing so and can name the processes.”(1)

The point of this thesis is to help more people know what they are doing when they think so they can be more effective, intentional students.

Classical education basically means good education: teaching students how to learn anything by defining and storing terms, clearly thinking about the reconciliation of new ideas with old information, and wisely using knowledge and understanding to benefit their community.

For example, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who uses accounting practices to ensure the company’s employees receive the salaries they deserve, shares the good news that God loves honest scales whether the CFO knows it or not. A CFO who uses accounting practices to cheat the CEO reveals the depravity of man and our need for the good news.

Both know the lingo and principles (grammar) of accounting. Both know how to reconcile their understanding (dialectic) of accounting practices. Both know how to use their understanding and knowledge by manipulating their results for good or evil.

(1)Mark Van Doren, Liberal Education (Boston: Beacon Press, 1959), 83.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

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