After spending some time settling in and getting to know one another (there are 16 of us from 6 different schools – a joy to see one of my old teachers from Baton Rouge, Carrie King), we launched into our conversations with the simple but compelling question: “What is Classical Education?”
To answer this, we first divided up into four groups and discussed, before coming back together. My group seemed focus on the notion that it involved the Seven Liberal Arts. We then got right to where CCS is currently talking, what is the relationship of the Quadrivium to a primary and secondary school.
Once we reconvened as a full group, we then first discussed the content of our breakouts, seeing up on the white board the vast amount of topics that were brought up just trying to define classical education. This left me feeling comforted that I have always struggled to sum up classical education adequately, as we all had that trouble.
At the end of this lengthy and stimulating discussion, James helped us round up the loose ends into the following general statement: whatever else it might be, classical education is a particular manner (classical) of leading students along a process of learning (education).
Having established this very vague and general notion, we are now ready to start adding the particulars, breaking this down over the next four days and stating what we mean by such a thing.
The conversation has been full, invigorating, and challenging. I am convinced that our faculty needs to do this type of thing regularly (weekly) and that I need (must) engage our parent body in the same regularly (quarterly at a minimum).