The American Founders and Education

E. Christian Kopff has an excellent piece on the influence of classical education on the American founders in The Imaginative Conservative.

For centuries Americans understood that their free and creative way of life was founded on virtue, instructed by a curriculum that balanced the study of language and mathematics and fostered by reading ancient authors like the Bible, Virgil and Cicero, Livy and Tacitus. The old classical curriculum by balancing education in language and mathematics avoided the alternating crises that are endemic in contemporary education. Students were thoroughly grounded in grammar before studying critical thinking (dialectic) and persuasive writing (rhetoric). Classical education balanced instruction in mathematics and language and made sure students had mastered basic subjects before proceeding to more challenging ones. It was not expensive, but it was demanding. But then so is freedom.

You can read the rest here.

I also highly recommend Kopff’s book, The Devil Knows Latin.

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