What is Classical Education?

What is classical education

Classical education is an educational method that has been used for centuries. It’s a way of learning that draws on the cultural inheritance of the Greco-Roman world to help students develop their minds, hearts and souls in order to become well-rounded individuals who can think critically and express themselves eloquently.

What Is Classical Education?

The classical education system, developed in the ancient world, consists of two main elements: the trivium and quadrivium. The trivium is made up of grammar (or sometimes called logic), rhetoric and dialectic; while the quadrivium comprises arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.

In its most traditional form, classical education was divided into three stages: elementary (grades 1 to 4), intermediate (grades 5 to 8) and secondary (grades 9-12). In some places this is still done today but for most public school systems it has been replaced by an alternative form known as “common core.”

What is classical education

The Trivium

The Trivium refers to the three parts of classical education that are taught before the quadrivium (the four subjects of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music) in order.

The trivium is made up of grammar, logic and rhetoric. Grammar teaches students how to write coherently with correct grammar and spelling; Logic teaches students how to think critically and logically; Rhetoric teaches students how to speak persuasively using a variety of persuasive techniques from argumentation or storytelling. All three subjects are essential for learning at any age because they provide the framework for communication skills that can be used throughout life.


Grammar is the study of the rules that govern language. It teaches students how to use words correctly, identifying parts of speech and the different ways they can be used in sentences. In grammar, you’ll learn about sentence structure, punctuation marks (including apostrophes), and spelling.


Logic is the study of formal reasoning. It is an elementary part of philosophy that involves studying valid reasoning, good reasoning, and the methods of reasoning.

In logic there are two kinds of propositions: those which assert something about something else (e.g., “The sky is blue”) and those which do not (e.g., “If the sky is blue, then I will buy a boat”). A proposition can be either true or false depending on whether it corresponds with reality or not; thus if it cannot be verified as true or false by any direct observation then it must fall into one category or another.[1] For example: “I am sitting down right now” is a statement about myself; on the other hand: “If I am sitting down right now then I will buy a boat” lacks any knowledge regarding how being seated correlates with buying boats so it would fall under an unverifiable statement rather than one verifiable by direct experience…


Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. It’s the art of speaking, writing, thinking and listening to arguments. It teaches us how to properly present our ideas in a way that will persuade others.

Rhetoric is crucial in a classical education because it gives you the tools to think critically about what other people say or write. This helps you identify logical fallacies when they’re being used against you, and understand how to counter them with good rhetoric of your own.

The Quadrivium

The second half of a classical education system is the quadrivium. The word “quadrivium” refers to arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy—the four subjects that complete the seven liberal arts. The quadrivium is more theoretical than the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) and emphasizes abstract thinking.


In arithmetic, students learn the basic fundamentals of numbers, including addition and subtraction. Arithmetic is an essential skill for everyday life and is a foundational course for all other disciplines.


Geometry is the study of shapes, sizes, and dimensions. It is used in architecture, engineering and other fields to measure distances between objects. Geometry can help you find the area of a circle or its circumference by using trigonometric ratios.


Music is unique in that it is the art of sound in time. Music, like language, can be used to express emotions and ideas. It can also be used as a form of communication: for example, a song about peace might be played at an anti-war rally.

Music has been used throughout history to teach children about rhythm and pitch—two important components of music theory. In addition to teaching children how to play instruments themselves through lessons or private tutoring sessions with professional musicians (a practice called homeschooling), parents can help their children learn by playing songs around the house while they do chores together or before bedtime each night when one parent reads aloud from favorite books while another sings along on guitar or piano.


Astronomy is the study of the stars and other heavenly bodies. Astronomers study the planets and other objects in space, such as comets, asteroids and galaxies. They use telescopes to do this. A telescope is a device that helps astronomers see things closer than they could with their own eyes alone

Astronomers also use another tool called a sextant to measure the position of stars at night. This will help them find out exactly where each star is located in relation to others on Earth’s sky at different times during the year so they can make accurate predictions about how far away from each other these objects are going to move over time!

The trivium and quadrivium are the basic elements of classical education.

The trivium and quadrivium are the basic elements of classical education. The trivium is grammar, logic, rhetoric; the quadrivium is arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy. These terms come from medieval times but they represent the roots of liberal education—that is, training in free thought and self-reliance through knowledge of yourself as well as your place in the universe.


The trivium and quadrivium are the basics of a classical education. These elements were developed in Ancient Greece and then carried on by other cultures throughout history. Classical education teaches students how to think critically, reason well, write effectively and speak eloquently. The trivium is all about learning grammar, logic and rhetoric, while the quadrivium is about understanding arithmetic, geometry and music – as well as astronomy for those who want to go beyond basic astronomy lessons!