I've written several articles about classical education, and finally came up with this sweeping epiphany: if you tossed out what is typically done in public schools and dropped in a classical education curriculum, two things would happen: schools would get much better and the costs would go down.

 I just interviewed Laurie Thomas, author of a new book called "Not Trivial--how studying the traditional liberal arts can set you free."

 This short interview/article provides a convenient way to get up to speed on this subject. (Plus, there are some links to other material.)

From the perspective of the typical public school agenda, the most striking thing about Classical Education is that it tries to work with the evolving child. For example, the Greeks and Romans figured out that children at the ages of six and seven do not regard memorization as work. They think of it as fun. (Imagine trying to explain that to the Deweyites who have taken over everything and turned memorization into a dirty word.)

The point is, smart schools and smart educators take advantage of every window of opportunity. If children like jumping rope, then you would use jumping rope to teach everything you could teach with jumping rope.

Compared to Classical Education, public schools are typically obtuse and dysfunctional. It is as if they don't care or have no concept of making real progress, at least not for ordinary kids. That is perhaps the most striking irony of 20th century education, that so-called progressive educators end up devising methods that are invariably regressive and repressive. Ordinary kids are allowed to stay ordinary, if they're lucky.

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