The classical method was born in ancient Greece and Rome, and by the 16th century, it was used throughout the Western world. This system educated most of America’s founding fathers as well as the world’s philosophers, scientists and leaders between the 10th and 19th centuries. In short, classical education has inspired advances in science, philosophy, art, and literature.
During the Grammar phase or elementary age, children are naturally drawn to memorization. Young children learn songs and rhymes, and recite facts with relative ease. In science, children mimic chants about nature. In math, children memorize times table songs. In Latin, teachers emphasize vocabulary though music. Throughout each year, classically educated children learn the factual foundation of each subject. We instill these concepts through songs, chants, and rhymes to help children enjoy the learning experience.
The Logic phase or middle school age involves ordering facts into organized statements and arguments. During the middle school years, children are beginning to think independently. They often develop a propensity for argument. Classical education teaches children in this phase to argue reasonably, civilly, and articulately. Practice in making written and oral arguments helps to further develop these skills. Teachers encourage the use of argumentation in each subject. Again, each subject has its own logic. In science, we use the development and testing of hypothesis. In math, we develop a student’s ability to logically orient numbers through the more abstract concepts of algebra and geometry theories.
The Philosophical Pillars of Great Hearts are aphorisms in support of the core and never-changing purpose of the organization: to cultivate the hearts and minds of students through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
We believe that the world is ordered and knowable and that the human intellect, while imperfect, can attain knowledge of reality through reason, hard work and a coherent program of study.
We believe that truth exists, and we must seek it relentlessly by disciplined study and good-willed conversation.
We do not dispute the usefulness of a liberal arts education, and we gladly prepare our students for college studies, but our main purpose is the formation of the heart and mind.
Liberal education consists of cognitive, emotional and moral education—thinking deeply, loving noble things and living well together. We believe, with Plato, that the highest goal of education is to become good, intellectually and morally.
The greatest number of our students benefit when the intellectual and moral bar is set high in the classroom. Lowering expectations is an act of misguided sympathy, not of love and mercy.
Great Hearts academies do not deploy a “character curriculum.” Students are formed by the culture of the school, implied and explicit, and each student’s choices to lead within it.
Teachers lead students through intelligence, charisma, humor, integrity and example—in short, through love and friendship, as modeled by Socrates.
“Parents wanting their children educated intellectually and also morally should give Great Hearts Online a close look. Our teachers strive to spark a child’s curiosity and sense of wonder through ordered joy. Our holistic approach to a child’s formation teaches them to ask why, speak articulately, and think independently. Grades are important but not our only focus. This is the Great Hearts difference. “