What is education? For many in today’s society, the answer to that question would probably consist of various school-related descriptions that apply to people between the ages of 5 and 22. However, if people put more thought and time into this question, it would soon become evident that education consists of far more than the three R’s. In actuality, education encompasses the entire continual-learning process that each and every person experiences throughout his journey upon this earth.
The idea of education being a process beyond the confines of a school room has been taught and endorsed for centuries. Philosophers such as Aristotle, Plutarch, and Locke encouraged parents and authorities to ensure that proper educational training would be available to children from birth. In the minds of thinkers like the aforementioned, proper education consisted of instilling good values, interests, and strong academic disciplines in young children, so as to prepare them for upright living.
The ancient ideal of rigorous, disciplined, and virtuous instruction was the norm for thousands of years, until the advent of the progressives. At that point in time, education became a process of feel-good, apathetic, and child-directed learning that often showed pathetic results. Despite this fact, the educational ideas of the ancients are beginning to make a comeback under the banner of “classical education.” This education process incorporates the rigors and disciplines advanced by revered ancient writers and seeks to return the process of education to its time-tested roots.
In an effort to describe what education truly is, this library section provides many documents containing the educational ideas of great thinkers through the ages. It also explores the idea of “classical education,” its foundation in the timeless wisdom of the ancients, and its potential for producing well-informed and educated adults.