Why Are Classical Education Principles Important?

posted in: classical | 2

I like to talk about education philosophy and principles much more than methods, though I do have a soft spot for practical tips. However, unless we are grounded in our principles, we will be tossed to and fro by all the practical tips out there.

Every practical tip is born from underlying principles, and if the philosophy behind the practical tip you’re trying doesn’t match your own philosophy (because you have one, whether you’ve thought it through and acknowledged it or not – we all have foundational assumptions and we function from them), then the practical tip won’t be so practical for you. Maybe it won’t work for you or maybe it will work and will throw you off course.

Classical education principles keep us centered and on course. All practical tips stem from principle assumptions. We will be steered off-course if we follow tips without knowing our principles.

Before applying practical tips, you need to know your foundational assumptions, your underlying principles. In Consider This, Karen Glass comments that education is simply applied philosophy, and it’s true. That’s why most philosophers also had educational theories and plans: education is where philosophy puts on flesh and makes waves in the real world.

Charlotte Mason had twenty principles she wrote as statements about the nature of children, about the nature of the world, and about the nature of learning. They are worth studying.

Christopher Perrin has some great videos with Latin mottos for 8 classical principles. They are worth watching.

Over the last year, I’ve written about classical education principles and how they affect not only our curriculum and our teaching, but also how we as mothers live out our lives in our homes with our families. Because principles don’t just shape how we school. They shape how we live.

Classical Education Principles

No time is wasted which is spent solidifying your foundations, your principles from which you choose and act.

2 Responses

  1. SarahD
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    I really liked this. A needed reminder to examine every practical tip against core principles. I’m totally with you on this. I find emphasis on method to be problematic sometimes.

  2. Classically Homeschooling
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    Understanding the principles is critical before you’re able to apply them in your homeschool! Thank you for the reminder to keep studying and learning about the principles of classical education as an aid towards the practical application. :-)