Geneva Academy’s approach to education differs from other schools. These differences are the result of often opposing assumptions about the world, the existence of God, and the purpose of education. Different approaches to education lead to different outcomes. As you research schools for your child, you may want to consider the following comparisons.
|Workforce orientated. Schools must impart job skills of value to particular industries. This early “job training” may not apply to other industries and often ignores reasoning and other higher level skills.||Critical thinking orientated. The emphasis is on reasoning skills, wisdom, and training the mind. These are broad skills that can be used in higher education, the workplace, and the home.|
|Hostile to traditional Christianity. There is little toleration to orthodox Christian teachings or claims to truth.||Founded on the tenets of traditional Christianity. Classical Christian Education begins with the assumption that God has revealed truth in the Scriptures and that the Bible is an infallible authority.|
|Morally relative. All moral positions are equally valid, though some may be more risky. There are no moral absolutes; what is true for you may not be true for me.||Morally stable. There are Biblical standards of right and wrong, good and evil, that children must learn and come to value.|
|Progressive. The State should control the process and outcomes of education.||Christian. Parents should control the process and outcomes of education. Schools should come alongside parents and serve them and are accountable to them.|
|Dismissive of the past. Latin, Logic, Rhetoric and other once-core subjects are no longer taught.||Eager to learn from the past. Latin, Logic and Rhetoric are taught as core requirements. What worked well in the past is brought forward.|
|Textbook based. Information given to students is filtered through textbooks written to comply with politically correct standards. Interpretations are given to students.||Primary text based. Students are taught how to read original authors’ works and to interpret primary sources for themselves based on their own study of history, literature, theology, language, etc.|
|*Focused on a diploma or other credential. The Oregon 40/40/20 Goal is a good example – much emphasis on credentialling.||Focused on imparting the ability to learn. Teachers encourage students to strive for mastery, not merely grades or seat time.|
|Expensive. Roseburg schools spend almost $15,000 per pupil annually (2010 data).||Priceless. Tuition costs at Geneva Academy are between $4,000 and $5,000 per pupil annually (2013 fees).|
|Fractured. Knowledge is dis-integrated; it is broken into separate subjects that rarely relate to one another.||Integrated. Knowledge is unified and crosses subject boundaries. Students learn the big picture as well as the details.|
|Bureaucratic. The system is often hard to navigate or influence. It is frequently slow to respond.||Locally governed. There is usually a Biblical model of accountability and Boards are usually highly responsive to parents.|
|Given to fads. There are continual cycles of “education reform” in efforts to find best practices. New methods, tests, and materials are frequently rolled out to find something more effective.||Given to historically proven methods of instruction. Instruction includes songs and chants for younger students, and engaging questions and answers (the Socratic dialogue), debates, and speeches for older students.|
|Naturalistic. Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) graduates are now the most desired. The humanities (language, history, art, literature) are being de-emphasized.||Balanced. The humanities, arts, and sciences are all taught for a full perspective of truth, beauty, and goodness. Students are taught to be well rounded and to achieve mastery in all subjects.|
|Low achieving. Oregon education statistics are very low by the State’s own admission. A majority of Oregon public education students either does not graduate at all or graduates unprepared for college level work.||High achieving. CCE graduates score high on standardized testing, are admitted to highly competitive colleges, and graduate on time.|
*The above comparative table has been assembled from published sources such as Oregon Department of Education materials (such as the 10-Year Plan for Oregon Project, Education Policy Vision 2012), the works of education reformers such as John Dewey (e.g. his book Liberalism and Social Action or The Humanist Manifesto to which he was a signatory), classical Christian authors such as Doug Wilson (e.g. The Case for Classical Christian Education), and materials of other academies within the Association of Classical Christian Schools (e.g. the Ambrose School of Idaho and Westminster Academy in Tennessee).