School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Alan Wimberley


Classical Christian Education, Classical Education, Liberal Arts, Expectancy Value Theory, Trivium, Progressive Education


Education | Religion


The purpose of this qualitative case study is to describe the motivation of parents, teachers, and school board members to invest their efforts in classical Christian education in a modern American K-12 school. The theory guiding this study is expectancy-value theory as it relates to the evaluative aspects of stakeholders’ beliefs about classical Christian education and their motives to become involved in it. Classical Christian education includes the concepts of the trivium, explicit instruction, the Socratic method, and basic skills mastery, as well as carrying on the traditions of the West; all steeped in a Christian worldview. Data came in the form of interviews, documents, and focus groups from parents, teachers, and school board members who are involved with a classical Christian education. An analysis of the data revealed that stakeholders are motivated to invest their efforts in a classical Christian school by a variety of factors including, a disapproval of the mainstream educational philosophy and a strong desire to experience the core elements of the classical Christian philosophy. This study found that no matter what participants believed about classical Christian education, they placed a great deal of value on their expectations about the philosophy, and those expectations were being met, with few exceptions.