Read About Classical Christian Education
Are you a parent who’s considering classical Christian education? Or maybe you’re a teacher who has been doing this for years? Either way, the handpicked books and guides below will provide you with a wholistic and thorough picture. They are organized into levels based on understandability and importance. Find the book you need based on our descriptions, or read through the whole list.
Lost Tools of Learning
by Dorothy Sayers
This essay by Dorothy Sayers played an enormous role in starting the classical Christian movement in America. You can read it for free on our website here. In it, Sayers proposes organizing schools with the classical trivium in mind and studying Latin.
by The Ambrose Group
Introduction to Classical Christian Education
by Dr. Christopher Perrin
The Liberal Arts Tradition
by Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain
A Case for Classical Christian Education
by Douglas Wilson
Wisdom and Eloquence
by Robert Littlejohn and Charles Evans
It is a good follow up to Sayer’s essay The Lost Tools of Learning and Wilson’s use of it in the Case for Classical Christian Education and Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning which both treat the trivium mainly as it fits with stages of childhood development. For a complete treatment of the subject, see The Liberal Arts Tradition by Clark and Jain.
Norms and Nobility
by David Hicks
Written in 1981, before many modern classical schools existed, this book closely associates classical education with moral education based on C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man. It explains how classical education could be implemented in Christian schools to develop a spirit of inquiry, and character. The chapter on Paideia is especially insightful.
by Louis Markos
This short and friendly book looks at the vibrant worldview behind the minds of famous Greek authors. Although not directly about school, this book is helpful for thinking about the heritage of CCE and what the ancient authors would have to say about about education.
The Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
Rallying the Really Human Things
by Vigen Guroian
Subtitle: Moral Imagination in Politics, Literature, and Everyday Life
This book explains the damage modernity has done to our moral imaginations–imagination that pictures human dignity and goodness through stories and images. It traces the history of the term “moral imagination” and also looks at older Christian sources. For those who want to know more about moral education or the term “moral imagination”, this book is your book. If you’re looking for a shorter description, see our description here.
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
by Joseph Pieper
by James Taylor
Modern education was been limited to the transfer of bits of information. In this book Taylor explains that students from Greece through the renaissance were taught much more than information-knowledge. Instead, they relied on the integrated powers of sensory experience and intuition.
The Seven Laws of Teaching
by John Milton Gregory
We offer a workbook you can purchase here.
Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture
by Werner Jaeger
The Great Tradition
Collected by Richard Gamble
This is an amazing collection of essays on education down through the millennium. And, they all point to classical Christian education and its importance. From the ancient Greeks to early church fathers to 19th century thinkers, these writings reveal an important story in education that’s rarely told today.
The Marriage of Philology and Mercury
by Martianus Capella
Capella describes the seven liberal arts in an allegory, which made it appealing to later medievals despite the fact that Martianus wasn’t a Christian. He wrote at the turn of the 5th century (contemporary of Augustine) in Carthage (near Augustine). His book is no doubt influenced by the same culture of education in which Augustine was trained, and which the latter advanced in a Christianized form in his famous treatise, On Christian Doctrine.
Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America
by Gene Veith, Jr. & Andrew Kern
This short book, written in 2001, positions classical education as the answer to failing American education in general. It briefly diagnoses the current educational problem, then sketches how classical education has been implemented by a variety of groups including Catholic and Protestant Christians, great book enthusiasts, homeschool families, and those serving poor and minority students in America and abroad. N.B.: The first edition was subtitled Towards the Revival of American Schooling.
This section’s books are taken from a masters level course offered by Dr. Christopher Schlect at New Saint Andrews College. Consider this program if you want a guide to help you as you work though these ancient sources.
The Envy of Angels
by Stephen Jaeger
This scholarly book on education in the late middle ages looks at their emphasis on moral education and imitating one’s teacher. It studies education in the period of time after the decline of Monastic schools and before the 12th century renaissance when we get authors such as Hugh of St. Victor. This book fills that gap for those interested in the history of medieval education.
Institutes of Oratory
Quintilian was a first century Roman rhetorician and teacher. He wrote this book, Institutio Oratoria, as a twelve part rhetoric training program, although it also paints a picture of education in general since rhetoric was a key element and goal of what we call the trivium.
On Christian Doctrine (Teaching)
Augustine, a Christian through and through, argues that there is much value in the excellent liberal education that dominated the pagan Roman world (e.g. Logic, Rhetoric). However, he takes great pains to preserve the antithesis between belief and unbelief, and so he urges his vision for a classical education that is distinctly Christian.
An Introduction to Divine and Human Readings
The Didascalicon of Hugh of St. Victor
by Hugh of St. Victor
Hugh of St. Victor wrote in the late middle ages, the 12th century, near Paris. In an outline for all learning, he talks about the four branches of philosophy: theoretical arts (which includes the quadrivium), practical arts, mechanical arts, logical arts (which includes the trivium).
Humanist Educational Treatises
The Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries produced what we call the humanities. The scholars of the time, the humanists, highly emphasized classic literature in education. This book deals with the ideas that came from their efforts.