The Classical approach to education
We hold to a pre-modern view of reality that sees the goal of education as the ennobling of human beings, not just the attainment of skills. Education should liberate children to discover, grasp, wonder at the world God has created, and deepen their understanding of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty as they are manifested in the work of God and the works of men throughout the ages. As creatures made in God’s image children should learn to discern and think about what is true, choose what is good, and appreciate and create what is beautiful.
Our teaching methods rely on the classical Trivium and are consistent with the biblical perspective of humanness which encompasses the rational, the moral, and the creative aspects of human personality.
This understanding grants us great freedom to choose the method best suited to teach any particular subject and maturity level of student. Some skills are best learned by rote and repetition while other areas of knowledge are best learned when the teacher encourages creative application of concepts or rules.
Developing the rational aspect
It is our desire that the acquisition of knowledge would lead to virtue in our students; toward this end attention is given not just to informing students’ minds but also to forming their characters. We emphasize learning how to use language well, and students are taught to speak and write clearly and coherently. Many classes involve learning to discuss and ask good questions. Written assignments and tests stress the ability to write good explanations of material that has been presented or read and discussed.
Developing the moral aspect
Respect for others, honesty, and obedience are the basis of our behavioral teaching and expectations. Children are taught to treat others as fellow image-bearers of God. They are expected to greet adults and speak to those who speak to them. We train them to say “please” and “thank you”, and to ask for and grant forgiveness for offenses. Our teaching emphasizes the moral order in the universe, and this thread runs through discussions in history and literature. We hold daily chapel for all students in which we both acknowledge our dependence upon God and try to further the students’ understanding of God’s Law and Gospel in His Word.
Developing the creative aspect
The fine arts are integral to the Imago education. All students have weekly classes in music, art and, beginning in 4th grade, drama. The school choir which presents the Christmas program and sings at the end-of-the year convocation is also made up of all students. Moreover, each student performs in at least one play or musical a year.
You can learn more about the Trivium and how it is applied at Imago in Linny Dey’s article ‘Classical’ Education at Imago.