Classical Education with Martin Cothran
- October 26, 2022
- Posted by: Highest Education Writer
- Category: Knowledge Bank
Martin Cothran is the Editor of The Classical Teacher magazine and Instructor of Latin, logic, and rhetoric at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Cothran serves as Senior Policy Analyst at The Family Foundation of Kentucky. Play his message below.
What is classical education? According to Classical Academic Press, “classical education is like a very large museum with many beautiful, wonder-filled rooms that could be studied over a lifetime. It is a long tradition of education that has emphasized the seeking after of truth, goodness, and beauty and the study of the liberal arts and the great books. What are the liberal arts? They are grammar, logic, rhetoric (the verbal arts of the trivium), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the mathematical arts of the quadrivium). This approach to education also includes the study of Latin. The classical approach teaches students how to learn and how to think.”
Is content-heavy vs. child-centered education an inevitable dichotomy, Y or N? Content-heavy vs. Child-centered education is a false dichotomy. Both are important. Kids need to know information so they can apply it. We should be concerned with knowledge AND with how kids are using that knowledge.
What is Educational Progressivism Educational Progressivism is when knowledge isn’t considered as important as how it is used. There is more of an emphasis in psychology where child-centered education becomes prominent, and where teachers mold education to the child’s needs and wants, rather than fitting the child into the knowledge base. Educational Progressivism emphasized Bloom’s Taxonomy’s “higher order skills” and not “lower order skills.” It interpreted higher order skills as necessary and lower order skills as unnecessary. This approach caused a departure from basic skills which resulted in poor consequences. Students did not know their basic math facts, they didn’t know how to read.
What should real education be about? Real education includes both lower and higher order skills. It focuses on basics and fundamental skills through knowing the great literature of a civilization, and their history. Through this means, Classical Education’s goal is to help the child become a well-balanced adult.
What are Dororthys Sayers’s three stages of learning? Dorothy Sayers’ trivium are her three “states of development”—the grammar stage, the dialectic stage, and the rhetoric stage. These together are a part of classical education’s education philosophy.
What happens every 25 years in education? According to Martin Cothram, the “education reform monster” comes out. The last reform was Common Core. In the 1980s-1990s it was Outcome Based Education; in the 1960s-1070s it was New Math & Open Classroom; in the 1940s-1950s it was the Life Adjustment Movement.
How is Highest Education the same as Classical Education? How is it different? The classical approach is a history-based, idea-oriented educational model that exposes students to the great minds of the past through literature, essays, philosophy, etc. Highest Education is a biblically-based, character-oriented educational model that exposes students and parents to the great minds of the past through story-telling of Bible personalities, through nature experiences, and through service.