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DIscussion Questions from Lesson 1 Intro to Classical Education Lecture 2

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How would you best define classical education?

A classical education teaches that which is true and beautiful. It teaches what helps us get closer to God and feeds our souls with what they need and want. A classical education does not necessarily teach us things that will give us a good job or lots of money. The things we learn can certainly help us attain those goals, but they are not the purpose of a classical education. The purpose of a classical education is to elevate our minds and souls to how they were before the fall of man, how they are supposed to be.

How does the definition of curriculum as a course change your thinking about curriculum?

Defining the word 'curriculum' as a course of study makes me feel less restricted in terms of what I can learn. If I created a curriculum for classical education that included only grammar, logic, and rhetoric, I would forget that classical education is more than those three subjects. If I think of a curriculum as a course of study, it reminds me that there are many subjects in a classical education. It's hard to explain what I mean, but this is the closest I could get.

Classical education can be defined as parts that come together as a whole. Of the curricular, pedagogical, psychological, communal, and linguistic definitions, with which definition are you most familiar and why? How do the other parts expand your view of the tradition of classical education?

I was not familiar with any of the definitions. If I had to pick one I am most familiar with, I would pick the psychological one. I define a classical education as one that teaches what is good and beautiful. It is an education that teaches for the sake of learning, not secular success or lots of money. It is an education with no concrete end in sight. It continues throughout one's life, as truth and beauty never change.

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How would you best define classical education?

Education that cultivates a love of truth, goodness, and beauty by means of the liberal arts and great books, characterized by rigor, warmth, and delight, and involving vibrant interactions of teachers, students, parents, friends, and many others.

How does the definition of curriculum as a course change your thinking about curriculum?

The tools we use matter not so much as the goals. There are a variety of curricula (workbooks, guides, etc.) that we can utilize to teach the curricula (the liberal arts) to cultivate a love of truth, beauty, and goodness.

 

Classical education can be defined as parts that come together as a whole. Of the curricular, pedagogical, psychological, communal, and linguistic definitions, with which definition are you most familiar and why? How do the other parts expand your view of the tradition of classical education?

Having been a part of a "classical community" in the past, I am most familiar with the pedagogical and communal definitions, as those were the ones introduced and stressed as part of the group. The intellectual and psychological definitions give more of the "why" behind classical education, not just the "what". The curricular definition explains why the "what" isn't as important as the "why".

It's been eye-opening to me to hear and see these various definitions and how they come together to form a complete whole. In the past I think I've tried to stare at one piece of the puzzle and make it into a whole picture, becoming frustrated with myself for not seeing it as everyone else seemed to. Now I understand that as I learn and grow I'm able to add a new piece, and be more gentle with myself as I tackle this puzzle, allowing myself to look at the big picture and back again at my new piece, figuring out where it goes.

 

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