“Classical method” of teaching is growing in Illinois

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:58 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - A 2000-year-old way of teaching and learning is making a resurgence across the nation, according to the Peoria Catholic Diocese.

More than 200 similar schools have opened nationwide over the past two years according to at least one religious publication.

“Classical education” stems from the days of Plato, and William Shakespeare. The concept has been offered in a middle school in Peoria for more than two decades.

But even with the addition of this Catholic-based high school, many still haven’t heard of it or know how it compares to other private schools.

“It focuses on the development of the human being, looking at the character or the leadership of the individual,” said Chesterton Academy of the Sacred Heart Headmaster Joshua Russell. “This is a theme we see throughout history.”

Chesterton Academy is part of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

Diocese schools superintendent Susan Miller said the classical teaching method is making a comeback in Illinois because it gives families another faith-based high school alternative.

“And now I think we’re in this position where we’re starting to say ‘we’re not all the same’,” said Diocese Superintendent of Schools Susan Miller. “Our families certainly aren’t all the same. We want to expand our offerings so we can meet families where they are.”

Russell said most of the students who come here to learn were initially home-schooled.

The tuition cost is on par compared to other religious schools across the region.