The Case for a Classical Education

At the March East Midlands Salon, Dr Nicholas Joseph (University of Derby) will put the case for a classical education. Richard Harris (Oxford alumnus) will respond. The discussion will focus on “Why do we need a classical education in the 21st Century?”

What is a Classical Education?

Classical education is a rigorous system of education that is content-heavy and based on an appreciation of the best of human culture from Socrates to David Hume and Shakespeare to Goethe. This classical approach has been followed by generations of people, from Ancient Rome right through the rise of industrial society and beyond. The knowledge-based curriculum assumes that a child needs to know the facts about their world before they can develop their critical faculties. Classical education trains children in the foundations of human knowledge and understanding so that, as they grow and mature, they can develop their ability to observe, analyse and question, compare their understanding with others, and engage in dialogue and debate.

About the Speakers

Nicholas is a Salon regular. He has a PhD in medieval European history and has just edited and contributed to a recent book: New Studies in theHistory of Education(Routledge, 2023).

Richard has an MA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of Oxford. A qualified lawyer, he is active in case work involving teachers and lecturers. He is a member of the Academics For Academic Freedom advisory board.


A short and clear exposition of classical education is available on the new St Alban’s Classical Primary School website: What is Classical Education?

A Newham School is also offering a classical education

Martin Robinson’s book Trivium 21c is essential reading.

And you might like to find out about Minimus and if you are interested in what schools are doing, visit Classics For All.

Date, Time and Venue: Thursday 21 March, 19.00-21.00 in the Brunswick Inn, Derby. Tickets (£3.00 plus fee) on Eventbrite.

(Image: Plato’s Academy, mosaic, Pompeii. In the public domain)