What to Expect

Teachers are the heart of the school. Without dedicated, competent teachers, the best educational practices will never come to fruition in the classroom. PCCA’s teachers are expected to implement PCCA’s academic mission. In the classroom, the teacher is in charge. Outside of the classroom, teachers receive professional guidance with respect to specific goals and objectives from the Board of Directors through the Principal.

At PCCA education is derived from the philosophies found in the left-hand column of the table below. By enrolling your child at PCCA, you will witness firsthand the qualities and benefits of a Classical Education and specific character curriculum.

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The Hillsdale College Approach

The mission of the Barney Charter School Initiative is to promote the founding of classical charter schools and excellence in their teaching and operations, to the end that public-school students may be educated in the liberal arts and sciences and receive instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue.

Click below to learn more and view sample lessons put forth by distinguished Hillsdale faculty.

The Barney Charter School Initiative of Hillsdale College

Classical Education Myths

Myth #1: Classical Education was fine for back then, but we need modern education in a modern world.

Fact: Classical education teaches students facts, provides them with logical tools to use those facts and perfects the student’s ability to relate those facts to others. This fundamental skill–set is more valuable today than it has ever been. The process of teaching students to think extends far beyond filling their heads with knowledge. Modern education, to varying degrees, has succeeded in teaching facts and some skills. Classical education helps students draw original, creative, and accurate conclusions from facts and then formulate those conclusions into logical and persuasive arguments.

Modern subjects based in science and technology are taught in classical schools, through classical methods. Parents who are exposed to classical education recognize that its “back to the basics” approach contrasts with the distractions of modern education. Is the classical method applicable in a modern, technological age? The technology we have today was invented, in large part, by the classically educated. Man inhabited the earth for thousands of years without developing technology until the last two hundred years. It is no coincidence that the groundwork for these achievements was laid within the last 400 years when classical education was at its height. Classical education teaches children the timeless skills of thinking, reasoning, logic, and expression. Our subject matter is as up-to-date as that found in any modern school. We simply add a depth and dimension through this time-tested method, which is unseen in most modern schools.

Myth #2: My child is not intelligent enough to attend a classical school.

Fact: Many parents assume that a classical education is only accessible to “gifted” children. In fact, all children benefit greatly from the classical method. Until this century, there was no substantial alternative. If you were educated in Western society prior to 1850 you were classically educated, regardless of your level of intelligence.

As is usually the case, myths start from a spark of reality. Many parents will observe the classroom and curriculum of PCCA and assume the children are abnormally bright. In reality, classical education challenges children and is uniquely able to leverage their natural abilities during different stages of childhood. In short, we will take ordinary children and deliver extraordinary results by employing proven methods tested for centuries.

Myth #3: Classical education is too extreme.

Fact: This myth usually stems from the fact that classical education is very different from today’s conventional education. Parents are rightfully skeptical of anything that differs so boldly from the norm. However, classical education was the norm 100 years ago. Almost all of the world’s great authors, scientists, statesmen, and politicians were classically educated.

Conventional education has taken an experimental approach to educating our children over the past four decades. This constant state of change in education creates an environment where anything “traditional” seems extreme. Classical education provides a basic structure upon which we can build effective, successful students. We are not advocating an experiment. Rather, we are seeking a return to a system that was proven effective for over 1,000 years.

Myth #4: Classical education is unnecessarily difficult.

Fact: Children enjoy learning. They are wired for it. Assuming that a child will not be able to succeed in challenging environment is tempting, but simply untrue.

A common assumption is that a demanding curriculum results in unhappy children. As adults, learning new things can be uncomfortable. However, most children are fascinated by what they learn at PCCA. The excitement of students learning Latin beams as they become able to converse with one another in a language that most adults do not understand. The rich and complex texture of classical literature is strangely amplified by youth. Science and the history of Western Civilization come alive for those who hunger to know about their world.

The spark of truth in Myth #4 may lie in student grading at PCCA and our philosophy on grading. As public school grade point averages continue to edge upward (even though our national standardized test scores related to other countries continue to be disappointing), parents of students in classical schools find that “C” truly means their child is doing average work in a particular subject. It is important that grading standards be upheld and that students earn their marks. This can create some frustration among students who are accustomed to achieving “easy A’s” in other schools.


Recommended Reading

Want to learn more on Classical Education? Click here to find our suggested reading list.

Why Study Latin?

Latin has been taught in classical schools for centuries, even after Latin ceased to be a popular spoken language. There is good reason for this, for the study of Latin rewards us richly in several ways; click to learn more!