An argument need not be new to be argued again (nihil novi sub sole). Sometimes, in fact, we must support a cause and purpose because arguments for them are so self-evident and long-standing that the public has forgotten they still matter.
A number of scholars, theorists, and educators have launched assaults and argued in favor of lingua latina, mos maiorum, ars dicendi, and—in some ways—that lingua graeca latina locupletior est. Latin matters. Classical Greek is beautiful, and education must be more than assessment and applications. It must take these into account but should never stop there. Education must be rich, varied, purposeful. The languages and cultures of Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, and Classical Ideals are fantastic playgrounds to discover value, meaning, knowledge, and pleasure.
I look back on so many before me who have had to take the field in defense of classical education and classical languages. The view is breathtaking because the banners and voices they raised speak as clearly now as they did when they first spoke. They do not all agree. Nor do I agree with all of them.
Still, they are worth listening to, echoing, and adding to as needed. I will point out some on this blog, add to their arguments, and correct them as need arises.
For the curious, please see the following. The first is Matthew Arnold's Victorian defense of the classics. The second is closer to our time and keeps the younger student squarely in focus. The third is a general (and excellent) overview of the role of classical education in K-12 schools and at home after school.
Literature and Science (M. Arnold)
Classical education: The Oldest Ideas for the Youngest Minds (Jason Caros, Founding Principal, Founders Classical Academy, Lewisville, TX)
What is Classical Education (Dr. Terence O. Moore)