Classical Education... What is it?

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At Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee, we strive to cultivate a Christ-centered love of truth, goodness and beauty. Parents and parishioners can support these efforts through prayer and by becoming part of the intellectual and spiritual community that is being created—helping transform your family and community, and naturally evangelizing the culture along the way.  Readings below should provide adequate context for a defense of Catholic classical education as we strive to practice. 

Much good work is being done around the world today to restore this precious educational tradition and to combat the encroachments of philosophies seeking to undermine belief in the existence and communicability of objective truth. Below you will find a few articles that will help deepen understanding of what motivates our work at Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee as well as a list of books that will enrich understanding of the classical tradition. By joining in this discussion and sharing these resources with your family, friends, and neighbors, you are taking part in furthering that work.  

Recommended reading on classical education


The first article, by Hillsdale College’s Dr. Terrence Moore, outlines the current problems with education and includes a defense of traditional content-based instruction as well as an explanation of why teacher certification is not likely to be the key to meaningful educational reform. Second is an exercise in definition by Catholic apologist Peter Kreeft, a professor at Boston College. In this short essay Kreeft enumerates and explains the elements that make a classical curriculum what it is and suggests the probable effect of this strategy on the minds of eager students. “A Case for Classical Education” by Andrew Seeley gives insight into the current trend toward more traditional, academically rigorous education in Catholic schools.  In “Entrusting the Future of the West to Our Children,” Seeley illustrates the importance of looking to our past to build our future. We also encourage you to read Anthony Esolen’s recent articleon the necessity of having well-catechized, obedient faculty in any authentically Catholic institution. Finally, we link the definitive word on frequent and daily reception of the Eucharist, approved by Pope Pius X.

Click on the links below to read these important essays:

  1. Why Do We Need a New Vision?: The Cause of Our Bad Schools by Terrence Moore

  2. What is Classical Education?: “What is Classical Education” by Peter Kreeft

  3. Why Do Catholics Choose Classical?: “A Case for Classical Education” by Andrew Seeley

  4. What is the Classical Difference?: “Entrusting the Future of the West to Our Children” by Andrew Seeley

  5. Why Does a Teacher’s Faith Matter?: “Why Catholic Schools Need Faithful Faculty” by Anthony Esolen

  6. Why Begin the Day with Mass?: “Dispositions for Frequent and Daily Communion”



  1. The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools, by Archbishop Michael J. Miller

  2. Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education, by Stratford Caldecott

  3. The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education by Ravi Jain and Kevin Clark

  4. The Intellectual Life, by A.G. Sertillanges

  5. A Guide for the Perplexed, by E.F. Schumacher

  6. The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What it Means to be an Educated Human Being, by Richard Gamble

Subject Specific:

  1. Literature – Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination, by Vigen Guroian

  2. History – The Crisis of Western Education, by Christopher Dawson

  3. Mathematics – “A Mathematician’s Lament” and Measurement by Paul Lockhart

  4. Science

  5. Latin – Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin, by Tracy Lee Simmons

  6. Grammar, Logic, & Rhetoric – The Trivium by Sister Miriam Joseph and Socratic Logic, by Peter Kreeft

An Explanation and Defense of Catholic Classical Education

 We welcome your insights and inquiries into our vision for educating students in a Catholic classical tradition. If you have comments or questions about the essay above or any other information on this page, do not hesitate to contact our headmaster at

Resource Page Source: Thank you to our friends at Great Hearts Academy in Grand Rapids, MI for allowing us to share this resource page.