If you’re a parent of a Liberty Classical student, you’ve heard of Chronological Quest. If you’re new to the community or if you’ve been confused as to why your student occasionally walks out the door for school wearing a fake mustache and monocle, it’s time to unpack why we do what we do with Chronological Quest.
Basically, Chronological Quest is a hands-on history lesson for our students. They take on the personas of historical characters and educate their peers from a first-person perspective. So…a student learns all there is to learn about someone like Abraham Lincoln. The student then fashions a top hat and distinguished-looking beard, borrows a black sport coat from her dad and stands in front of her peers with some interesting details like, “I was the 16th president of the United States” and “I was the first president with a beard.” And there it is: Chronological Quest. Only...there’s a line a couple hundred students deep...all in character.
They dress the part. They act the part. They learn.
But it’s more than just a fun assignment for students. It’s an extension of Liberty Classical’s core purpose. It’s another way that we are redefining what it means to really learn something.
Embodied learning is not a new concept. It’s basically the idea that learning is more effective when the whole body is engaged in a subject rather than just the mind. Like learning to count by throwing rocks into a lake. It’s used in STEM-inspired classrooms quite a bit to help younger students engage content with a broader view of the factors and outcomes. But as a principle, it’s been happening for centuries. Every good teacher, even the Great Teacher, tries to embody learning for his or her students.
What Liberty Classical presents to its students is embodied learning because it affects the whole person.
If students are truly going to learn something, it must become part of their lives. It’s not enough to define ethics. One must interact with them in a real life scenario. Studying the facts of history can give a student a grade, but an understanding of history (the context of it, the philosophies that shaped the culture, the influences in religion, art, science, etc.) can give wisdom. Because it’s then you begin to understand the consequences of ideas.
So when students put on the costumes of people from history, and truly embody those people, they’ve just taken a critical step. They’ve connected what is true to action...to some kind of behavior.
At the end of the day, we don’t want to build students who can answer obscure trivia questions or astound the world with profound intellect. At least…not entirely.
It’s not about the facts that someone can recite. It’s about what they’ve learned; what they’ve embodied. It’s about what they’ve applied. It’s about the life they end up living.
We want students to embody truth…much like they embody the historical characters they study. We want students who understand that history is not words on a page or ideas without context. History is something we’re living out right now. Just like centuries ago, others lived it out.
Chronological Quest is taking textbook learning and moving it into real life. It’s taking abstract ideas and putting them within reach for students. It’s allowing students to embody what otherwise could be lost in world of obscure trivia or profound intellect.
Ultimately, Chronological Quest is another way that Liberty Classical is building lives that inspire. It’s bringing learning to life.