I created a book list on Classical Christian Education last May, but I realized that it is a hodgepodge of resources on classical, neo-classical, and Charlotte Mason—much like my own perspective a few months ago. In this new list, however, I venture to narrow down the selections to the “must-reads” of how I now understand classical education to be.
The Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents
by Christopher A. Perrin
The Introduction to Classical Education is a relatively short book and is meant to be a primer on classical education. I highly recommended one to pickup this booklet if you wish to start somewhere. Thanks to Classical Academic Press, you can also read it for FREE by downloading it over here.
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Revised Edition)
by Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain
One of the challenges of classical education is not having a singular work or a collection of books or lectures that serve as an “authoritative” body on the subject, unlike Charlotte Mason, Maria Montessori, and other modern educators. That being said, Drs. Clark and Jain have done a phenomenal work in the revised edition of The Liberal Arts Tradition by attempting to provide an informative guide to those who wish to drink from the deep wells of what Christian Classical Education has to offer. Although it can be academic in most places, often addressing schools and school educators, it could very well prove to be a handbook for those who wish to aim to provide and/or practice classical education in today’s world. This “stiff” book is well worth the slow and steady tread.
The Great Tradition: Classic Readings On What It Means to be an Educated Human Being
Edited by Richard M. Gamble
As I have mentioned, classical education does not have one definitive resource, but springs from the wisdom of the ancients and those who have continually done the work of retrieval and renewal over the ages. The Great Tradition is a rich anthology of works from figures such as Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, Basil, Augustine, Hugh of St. Victor, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Erasmus, Edmund Burke, John Henry Newman, Thomas Arnold, Albert Jay Nock, Dorothy Sayers, C. S. Lewis, and Eric Voegelin. This book invites us to join the great conversation since antiquity with the humble spirit of ad fontes and to realize the formative nature of education by the cultivation of the soul with wisdom, virtue and eloquence, just as Quintilian once remarked: “All precious ages have toiled that we might reap the fruit of wisdom.”
The Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
The Abolition of Man is a classic written by literary giant C. S. Lewis. It is one of the books that must be read by all educators in different sectors. The book’s message is a clarion call to recover what has been lost in the unfortunate and consequential shift towards modern education and philosophy: humanity itself.
Norms and Nobility: A Treaties on Education
by David V. Hicks
I have yet to receive my copy of this book, but from what I have read I think I’m going to be loving it. For now, I am reserving my recommendations once I have finished reading through it.
Last updated 23 October 2020