Classical Education: Just for the Smart Kids?

“Why do some people not like classical education?” My daughter asked at dinner tonight.

“Well I think it’s that it’s perceived as being an education for the high achiever, and thus, elitist.”

“Is that true?”

I only paused a second.  “Absolutely not.”

One goal of this website is to demonstrate how classical methods such as learning the basics to mastery and concentrating on the finest possible literary texts can help all students.  In fact, for struggling readers, the intensive phonics program may be the only way to get an adequate understanding, because these are the kids who are left behind by look-say (though it worked fine on my husband,) and whole language (which many classrooms use today.) At times it has been  common for theorists and publishers to focus on methods that only work for the more able students, then claim that if everyone uses them, all students will be more able.   This isn’t pedagogically sound.  Classical education emphasizes mastering the basics, whether it takes a long time or a short time, then moving on to refinements.

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