Friday, April 21, 2006

Classical Education and Girls

I am excerpting this entire short article found on the website of one of my favorite people, Christine Miller. I really really really like this!

Understanding the Purpose

The question is often raised, “Since my daughters will grow up to be wives and mothers, rather than career women, is a rigorous classical education superfluous for them, or should they be educated, in regard to academic learning, differently than our sons?” In order to answer this question, it would be helpful to understand the purpose of a classical education. Is it solely to increase vocational prospects and success? Wes Callihan of Schola Classical Tutorials and co-author of Classical Education and the Home School, says this:


“The goal of a classical liberal arts education is to free a person (thus “liberal” = liberating) from the narrowness, rigidity, and prejudice which is the natural characteristic of our minds. The goal of a Christian classical education is to do so for the glory of God. While it is true that apart from salvation an educated person may be nothing more than an educated fool, it is also true that an ignorant Christian, no matter how godly, is limited by that ignorance; an educated Christian is a more effective servant of God because his natural abilities and talents have been developed rather than allowed to atrophy. The tradition of education in western civilization has been propelled for nearly two millenia by Christianity, during which time it has always assumed diligent training in godliness by a child’s parents as an underpinning to education.


“That assumed, the liberation of a child’s mind is accomplished by teaching him the following, which can be grouped according to the classical Trivium -- grammar, logic, and rhetoric (the first five points) -- and Theology, the King of the Sciences (the last two points):


• to listen and read carefully;
• to think clearly and express himself persuasively;
• to comprehend his position in space, time, and culture and his relation to other places, times, and people;
• to appreciate and learn from the difference between his own and those other places, times, and people;
• to enjoy a wider range of beauty as a result of that wider exposure;
• to devote himself to continued learning on his own, using the tools of learning acquired in the previous five points;
• to evaluate, and ascribe the proper significance to, all of the above in the light of a transcendent, absolute standard;
• to construct and defend a coherent, biblical worldview as a result of his education.

“It is NOT to get a job.”

Preparing Younger Children for a Great Books Education by Wes Callihan
Schola Classical Tutorials


PreschoolersandPeace said...

Thanks for this post. I think I'll forward it on to my m-i-l :)

Anonymous said...

Very nice, dead-on! I've never understood the let's-not-educate- (or half-educate-) our-daughters movement.

HeartnSoul said...

Wonderful post with excellent information. I'm adding you as a friend, I'll need to come back and read it again :)


Denise T

SheriAtkinson said...

Yes! I have read this before. Wes Callihan............ah.........what a great guy! And as Andrew Kern said, one of the 12 truly classically educated people throughout history. :-)

We all need to be well-educated. My Dad told me a quote years ago but he could not remember who said it. "When you educate a man, you educate one person. When you educate a woman, you educate a whole family."

Great to think about!