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Why a Classic Education is Far Superior than Any Other Education

Mar 14, 2008
One of the most traditional and rigorous curricula is Classic education. Education is considered classical when there is a strong emphasis on learning a classical language such as Latin. Liberal arts' foundation is language.

It also concentrates heavily on the brilliance of the intellectual and artistic classical heritage. Sophisticated speaking and writing is developed through logic, grammar, and rhetoric. It also calls for demanding training in scientific reasoning and mathematics.

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.

Describing learning to achieve meaning is more difficult, since it is more than just learning how to do something. Classic education provides students with the foundational skills to develop their intellectual natures. Knowing how to think and reason critically are invaluable skills that never become obsolete.

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.

Classic education has been used an instrument for over two thousand years to teach meaning to generations of students. It was this education that instructed medieval philosophers and even 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.

This educational system was started over two thousand years ago, yet it's still a relevant learning model in this day and age. New skills and needs will keep outdating knowledge-based learning, but learning for meaning will never be obsolete.
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