Wisdom, eloquence and virtue – these are the aims of a classical education. The patriarchs of western civilization understood that education was more than the acquisition of basic skills and mere competency. The purpose of education was to transform, to elevate, and to refine the mind and the soul. This was the standard, not the exception. At the center of classical education is an emphasis on the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Because these universal values serve as the building blocks of classical learning, the classical arts are timeless and proven, and have been known to produce many eloquent confessors and wise leaders. Our communities today are in dire need of just these sorts of men and women. In an endless pursuit of the latest educational dogma, many schools no longer have the capacity to judge what is Good, True and Beautiful, much less teach it. In forsaking the soul for the mind, they have forgotten how to educate both. Classical Education is a holistic approach to education, and a return to excellence in teaching, curriculum and expectations.
More at: http://www.immanuelalexandria.org/school/curriculum/what-is-classical-education
This triggered a flash of fierce agreement from me, we have debased education and muddled it with training. I think that many intellectuals from the middle twentieth century would say that the communists and their Nazi fellow travelers won. The left (which both Nazi and Communists are at core) managed to stain classical education as elitist and useless, whereas in reality it was at its core vastly more leveling and practical than what we have today. A classical education creates a society of citizens with a deep repository of common referents that are rooted outside our ephemeral now, it also trained the mind to think, to organize to pattern recognize across a range of topics in ways that are broadly useful and common without being straight jacketed.
We also straight jacket everyone into a lockstep industrialized system where homogeneity of outcome is vastly more important than quality and to a degree individuality. Why can’t many kids start near full time work at sixteen and spend some years figuring out what they want to do before continuing at part time or your time schooling. Why is it that high schools are not open to anyone wanting to work on their english or get a high school degree? Why is it so hard to get credit for class work and job experience, hobbies etc, the totality of which would make many overlooked folks true masters of their art?