Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America examines the decline of American education and offers a solution. It is not more spending or a new and innovative program. Rather the solution, according to authors Gene Edward Veith, Jr. and Andrew Kern, is classical education.
“America education cannot improve until we have a new theory of education. Fortunately, one exists,” Veith and Kern write. “An increasing number of schools and educators are returning to an approach to education that is the bedrock of Western culture: classical education.”
Veith and Kern examine contemporary education theories that have failed during the 20th century. Among them are modernism, postmodernism, and multiculturalism. They in turn produced Whole Language, Goals 2000, School-to-Work, critical thinking and technology in the classroom. It is clear that these approaches are not working.
In Classical Education, the authors examine six different approaches elementary and secondary schools use to tie the “3 Rs” to the moral and civic education of the Western tradition. They include Christian Classicism, which is advocated by the Association of Classical and Christian Schools; Democratic Classicism, which has been adopted by over 100 public schools; Moral Classicism, which is based on the idea that education is a path to virtue; and Liberating Classicism, Marva Collins’ program for minority children in poor neighborhoods that emphasizes phonics and character education.
This revised and updated edition includes new chapters on classical education in Catholic schools and in the homeschooling movement.
Veith and Kern also review the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S. that teach Western tradition and they provide a directory listing of organizations that work for a return to classical education.