Classical education is focused on helping students master the art of learning. It is called classical because it is rooted in the heritage of the Greeks and Romans, which has been developed by the Church through the centuries and renewed by contemporary educators. As they engage in a Great Conversation with history's finest thinkers, students acquire more than vocational skills; they prepare for their roles as informed citizens, thinking Christians, and virtuous shapers of culture.
Classical education was widely embraced in the English-speaking world until the late 19th century, when education came to be modeled on the interests of - and in the image of - the industrial revolution. Students were batched together according to age and taught subjects that were somewhat artificially divided into different "departments." The past 30 years have witnessed a resurgence in classical education as parents and educational leaders nationwide have returned to time-tested methods of imparting knowledge and shaping virtue and character.
The classical method of teaching is referred to as the Trivium (Latin for “three ways”), and consists of three stages which mirror the natural development of a child’s mind and curiosity.
Christian education is not merely the imparting of Christian doctrine, but the formation of students as lovers of God and worshippers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many Christians and non-Christians alike have bought into the false idea that education is merely the transfer of information. Education, it is assumed, is value-free; schools can teach "the facts" and leave it to parents, churches, and communities to impart values. But this distinction between facts and values is rooted in the Enlightenment-era philosophy of Immanuel Kant - a philosophy that denies the ability to know things "as they really are." The separation between facts and values is, in the end, a denial of knowledge itself.
In reality, all education is formative. It is not merely the transfer of information, but the ordering of the soul’s affections in accordance with some ultimate desire. Every human being is a worshiper - a loving, willing, desiring being who is pursuing some vision of "the good life."
Therefore, a proper Christian education must do more than impart a biblical worldview. It must shape desires. It must awaken Christian imagination. It must form Christian love. It must deepen Christian worship. This is the kind of education we are committed to at Trinity Classical Academy. We want to partner with parents to raise wise, virtuous, culture-shaping Christian leaders who passionately love and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here are some of the practical ways that our Christian convictions manifest themselves:
Collaborative education is a revolutionary model of education that allows parents to retain primary responsibility for their children's learning while still reaping the benefits of a structured school environment. Students attend class on-campus with professional teachers 2-3 days per week, and then receive detailed at-home assignments to complete under the guidance of parents.
A collaborative school IS NOT:
A home-school co-op. Though we celebrate the growth of the classical home-schooling movement, collaborative education is something different.
Professional tutoring. Tutoring is specific to one subject or area. By contrast, a collaborative school functions from a holistic paradigm of education that seeks to shape students in every area.
A traditional private school. Though we work in a spirit of partnership with private schools throughout the city, collaborative education is different - and requires a much stronger time and leadership commitment from parents in order to succeed.
A collaborative school IS:
A "real school," with professional teachers, a Head of School, an established curriculum, and a cohesive vision for K-12 education.
A registered nonprofit corporation, led by a board of directors and governed by the nonprofit laws of the State of Nebraska.
A school with a "university" approach that combines in-class instruction with at-home assignments and practice.
God has given responsibility for education primarily to PARENTS - not to the state, not to the church, and not to the school (Deuteronomy 6). Collaborative education seeks to maintain this biblical priority. It empowers moms and dads to take a direct leadership role in the education of their children while still reaping the benefits of a structured school environment.
Collaborative-style schools have grown rapidly over the past few decades. Beginning with just a few schools in Florida and Texas in the early 1990's, there are now over 200 collaborative-style schools in the US. Research shows that the model works: high-school seniors from University-Model Schools® (a particular kind of collaborative school) "averaged equally high or higher scores than traditional, comprehensive Christian school seniors on all three common standardized exams" (ICCTE Journal, 2014).