The Case for Classical Education

March 12th, 2013

In the Wall Street Journal’s Cross Country column, Texas educators Charles Cook and Terrence Moore make the case for classical liberal arts education—both for preparing students for the workforce and for engaged citizenship:

We have a different approach to equipping students to face the future, one that has the weight of millennia of human experience behind it: a rigorous classical education. Such an education (called liberal-arts at the college level) does not shortchange math and science. On the contrary, those subjects are studied with more rigor than can be seen in today’s public schools.

Students also learn the fundamentals of English grammar; American and world history through the reading of primary source documents; and the great stories of human struggle and yearning told by the greatest storytellers—Homer, Shakespeare, Milton and Melville. . . .

We think that students who have been taught to write forcefully by studying Shakespeare and Tom Paine, who have learned to speak by studying the speeches of Cicero and Abraham Lincoln, who have learned to think through difficult problems by studying the Constitution through an analysis of the Federalist Papers, and who revel in the rigors of Latin grammar will have no difficulty in reading the boss’s memo.

Read the whole thing.

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