The John Adams Academy Classical Education:
Our classical education is not just the pursuit of academic excellence. At John Adams Academy it consists of six interrelated components:
- Our model is built on principles of sound education: caring teachers, parent involvement, aligned curriculum, well-planned lessons, and rigorous academic standards.
- Our school emphasizes the study of history, philosophy, and government, including the individual’s role in preserving our freedoms.
- Our teachers encourage the development of the basic academic skills of critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking.
- Our scholars deeply study key works that have contributed to the creation and development of our country.
- Our teachers guide scholars in understanding great works though modeling and Socratic dialogue.
- Our teachers help scholars make connections between subjects, to show how they converge into a single whole called “truth.”
From Washington and Adams to Gandhi and Locke, great individuals studied other great individuals. A classic is a work that can be experienced many times over and give something new each time. A classic or great book has three essential qualities: great theme, noble language and Universality.
Classics open our eyes to the true nature of our world and take us across the divide that separates mind from mind. They reveal to us our essential humanity, both its beauty and its horror, and hold the mirror up to our unknown selves. A true classic speaks to the heart and soul, with a message of truth that echoes in our lives long after we've turned the final page.
Classics teach us about human nature. They allow us to experience, in an intimate way, the greatest mistakes and successes of human history. Learning how others think, feel, and act allows us to predict behavior and helps us to develop empathy, compassion and wisdom in our relationships with others.
Classics bring us face-to-face with greatness. As we study the characters, real or fictional, in the classics, we are inspired by their greatness, which is the first step to becoming great ourselves.
In classics we can experience other people's characters more powerfully than in real life because the author lets us see their thoughts, feelings and reasons for and consequences of their choices. Classics force us to quietly study, ponder, analyze, think, ask, discover, cry, laugh, struggle, and above all feel, change, and become. Then, because we are better, we are motivated to go out and serve.
Great literature is miraculous because it makes available to us things that we cannot get in any other way. A classic gives us the personal wisdom to be better as an individual and a citizen of a free nation.