Classical Schools

What are classical schools?

Classical schools are a school of choice option that implements a traditional classroom environment with a compelling curriculum that teaches learners to self-educate.

Classical schools highlight history, literature, and language studies while embracing the concept of educating the entire child through truth and moral virtue. Classical schools are rooted in language, with lessons primarily taught through written and spoken words instead of images.

A classical classroom emphasizes the teacher’s authority, with students following traditional instruction as active participants in the learning process.

What are the three phases of classical education?

The three stages of classical education are based on the developmental stages of learning. Also known as the “trivium,” the three components of classical education are as follows:

  1. The grammar stage takes place from kindergarten to sixth grade when a learner can best memorize through rhyme. Students focus on learning the basic rules for reading, math, and English grammar during this time while laying the foundation for advanced study.
  2. The logic stage occurs between seventh and ninth grade when students start to wonder “why,” questioning authority and truth. Students learn to think through arguments and reason the relationship between data during this stage, considering how each fact fits into a larger framework.
  3. The rhetoric stage happens between grades 10 and 12 when students start to exercise independent thought. Drawing their own conclusions from previous developmental stages, learners focus on the persuasive use of information through speech and writing.

Where are classical schools most common?

Classical schools include homeschool settings, micro-school pods, private institutions, and public charter schools.

Many classical schools also have a mixture of Christian or Catholic worldviews, blending biblical texts into the curricula. For public charter schools, however, such religious teachings are replaced with secular “character training.”

How do classical schools compare to modern educational institutions?

Many modern schools emphasize a common core education in which students verify individualized academic achievement via standardized test scores. Classical schools, however, place less importance on standardized testing and more value on enhancing students’ ability to think wholly and critically.

Interested in learning more about Goodwin University Magnet Schools? Please visit Riverside Magnet School (pre-K through grade 5) and/or Connecticut River Academy (Grades 6 through 12).

Magnet schools offer several benefits including:

  • Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of achievement
  • Diverse student body that encourages respect, empathy and collaboration
  • Family and community involvement that instills a passion for learning and growth
  • Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme