Differences Between Modern and Classical Christian Education in America

Thanks to David Goodwin and the Ambrose Group for allowing us to post from their booklet, “Discover Classical Christian Education, A Parent’s Essential Guide“. Visit the Ambrose Group website, a non-profit group dedicated to expanding the reach and influence of classical Christian education. 

Modern Education

Democratic: Every student should attain the same level of achievement.

Multi-cultural: Critical of our Western cultural roots, strongly emphasizing imperialism, slavery and historic Christianity as “what is wrong with America”.

Naturalistic: Emphasizes math and science at the expense of art, literature, and history.

Secular: Holds the “spiritual” as personal and separate from education. Avoids deeper philosophical values.

Values-Neutral: All moral positions are relative and hence all positions must be equally treated.

Broken into many subjects: By breaking knowledge into pieces, it can be more carefully studied and thus understood.

Teaches facts and functional skills: Students primarily learn about subjects particularly ones that help them “get good jobs.”

Progressive: Always experimenting with new techniques and methods.

Entertainment learning: Entertain students to engage them in the learning process.

Classical Christian Education

Excellence: Take each student to their highest possible potential.

Western: Recognize the great contribution of Western culture to America and the world, including its triumphs and failures while also recognizing the beauty in other cultures.

Universal: Emphasize the humanities, arts and sciences to bring a full perspective

Integrated: Education is necessarily tied to philosophy and religion in order to train thoughtful students.

Idealism: Standards of right and wrong exist in all subject areas. Students are taught to make judgment accordingly.

Integrated Subjects: Subjects should be taught in an integrated way so that students understand the whole as well as the parts.

Teaches Critical Thinking: Students learn to think beyond the subject-matter. Content is not the goal – wisdom is.

Traditional: Hold to educational standards that have a clear record of success.

Engage and Challenge: Students will meet a high standard and enjoy a sense of achievement.

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