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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

New classical learning minor added to Ashbrook, History and Political Science departments 

“Love what is lovely and despise what is despicable,” said Dr. Joseph Griffith 
Ellie Lohr

The Ashbrook, History and Political Science departments are now offering a new classical learning minor.  

Classical learning is a style of education that was used in the Middle Ages. Revolving around the trivium and quadrivium, classical learning helps students learn and practice the skills of language. 

The trivium translates to “Art of the Word” and focuses on language. It consists of learning grammar, sound reasoning and rhetoric, which is being able to communicate one’s thoughts or concepts proficiently.  

The quadrivium, meaning “Art of the Number,” is comprised of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. 

The minor will include three required courses, History of Classical Learning, Methods of Classical Learning and Elementary Latin I.  

In addition, students will have to take four of the 11 available elective classes. The electives offered relate to math, philosophy, English, history, Latin and political science.  

In total, the classical learning minor will be 21 credit hours. 

Assistant Professor of History and Political Science Dr. Joseph Grifith said the minor is an introduction to how those subjects have been taught throughout history rather than a teaching methods course.  

“The goal is to compliment what we already have. This is education, but it’s a niche form of learning that is closer to the world of great texts, primary source documents and conversation,” said Griffith. 

The program is designed for those who want to go into classical schools after graduation, but it is open to everyone as it helps students become lifelong learners.  

Sophomore religion major Armand Silva is excited to see what the new minor has to offer.  

“I plan on experiencing the classical learning minor because it will give me a broader perspective and toolkit on my own learning and teaching endeavors,” said Silva. “To understand how the best learners in history learned, and to be able to replicate that in modern academia is a powerful skill that is rapidly on the rise.” 

Classical learning is a growing trend in the United States as Christain private schools and nonsecular charter schools have emerged.  

According to the Association of Classical Christian Schools, which is a major organization in the world of classical learning, their membership has increased from 335 schools to 465 between 2021-22. In 2023, it has increased to over 500 schools.  

Classical schools like Great Hearts Academy in Arizona and Valor Academy in Ohio have recruited through Ashbrook over the last decade. 

“They like the Ashbrook Scholars,” said Dr. Moser, who is the chair of the Department of History and Political Science. “They see our students as a good source of talent for their faculty.” 

The Ashbrook and History and Political Science departments have been sending students to these schools for years and many graduates now teach there.  

Due to this, graduates have provided feedback on the need for courses related to classical learning. 

While most educational institutions require a teaching degree, a teaching license is not required to teach at these types of schools.  

Classical learning is most similar to English majors, Creative Writing majors, History majors and students learning similar to these paths.  

“Classical education might seem like it belongs in a museum, but it trains students how to think, use the English language and live meaningful lives,” said Griffith. 

If you are interested or want more information on the new classical learning minor, contact Dr. Griffith at [email protected].  

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