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ZDENKA DE GREE, San Clemente
Classical schools are quickly popping up across the country. Students in these schools learn well and test excellently.
Classical curriculum provides an outstanding education that is natural to a child’s development. Classical education follows three stages: Grammar (foundational knowledge), Logic, and Rhetoric.
For a young child in the grammar stage (K-5), classical education supports learning basic math facts and operations, English grammar, phonics and spelling, basic facts about nature, Latin, and a sound history.
For a middle school student, the approach changes, as students start to question everything. To support this questioning, Classical Education asks the learner to answer open-ended questions, research, make a judgment and lay out clear arguments followed by evidence.
Students also learn to listen respectfully to the arguments of others, because the student’s goal is to learn the truth, not to win an argument. Instead of repeating what the teacher just said, students learn how to find answers on their own following logic.
Students write clearly, discuss ideas in literature, different perspectives in history and perform experiments in science. Once in high school, students learn the art of rhetoric. They learn to further their language skills to argue well their points and to be aware of the audience.
Classical education is systematic, gradual, and rigorous. A student works hard to attain knowledge and feels good about accomplishing tasks. This motivates lifelong learning, because knowing feels good.
A big part of the classical learning process is the instruction in virtue—honesty, hard work, joyfulness, and gratitude. Each student and teacher is valued and treated with dignity.
I can’t speak for California Republic Leadership Academy, as I don’t know anything about it, but Founder’s Classical Academy, being their model, is a very respectable school.
Typically, this type of education is only available in private schools. I would love to have this option for education available to everyone in a public school—as charter school is a public school. It would give an excellent educational option to our community.