Earlier this week I began my response to parents’ request for a clearer articulation of the classical liberal arts curriculum. I published the article “A Good Man” to provide us all with a model of what we are seeking to build through our instruction. Yesterday, I created a new Curriculum Overview on the CLAA website. Today, I continue my response with the next piece of the puzzle–the first look at the CLAA Academy Diploma Program.
Thus far, the CLAA’s student body has been very young as we’ve concentrated on starting young students at the beginning of the classical liberal arts curriculum. I spent 2 years creating a Petty School program little ones and am now moving up with the students into the 2nd level of Classical Grammar this year. As time goes on, the program’s development will increase in pace because the higher courses are much easier to teach than the lower courses.
To give parents and students a view of where this all heading, I am happy to release, for the first time, what will be the CLAA’s Academy Diploma requirements. These are the courses that will be required for the conferring of a CLAA Academy Diploma upon any CLAA student. You can read the details here:
Please note that this is NOT intend for this to be used as a curriculum guide for any students. There are many other studies that would benefit a child that are not a part of our Diploma program. For example, I believe our Catechism and Religion programs are going to prove to be extremely valuable in helping our students to cultivate orthodox, prayer-oriented lives–yet they are not required for the classical liberal arts diploma. Some students will need to take different paths to complete our Diploma requirements. For example some students will charge into Grammar at age 8, while others may need to study English Grammar and not be able to begin in Classical Grammar until age 12 or 13. The Diploma requirements are the bar that will mark the essence of a classical liberal arts education–that is what the Diploma will signify.
What is different about the CLAA’s curriculum is that we do not waste time trying to perfect the art of mastering 3rd, 5th and 7th grade standardized tests. Why? They are not important. So long as the state’s minimum requirements are satisfied, our students can keep their eyes on the final product: their adult education. Ultimately, this all that matters in life and the efforts and expenses made to look impressive at each (artificial) grade level prove to be wasted. No one will ever care what a child’s 3rd grade CAT test scores were and it makes no sense to orient the education about such insignificant measures.
What will also be different about the CLAA’s Academy Diploma program is that it will allow students to earn our diploma by means of examination, eliminating the modern need to “pay and play” until one has finished jumping through non-academic hoops to gain an academic award.
Also, you can see that Religion has no part in our diploma program. We do not believe that a required course of religious studies is necessary for the receipt of a classical liberal arts diploma.
I believe that this will greatly facilitate our collaboration in restoring the historic classical liberal arts curriculum and I look forward to discussing this with you.
William Michael, Director
Classical Liberal Arts Academy