Hillsdale’s 1776 Curriculum

“America’s founding principles…have outlasted and extinguished from law various forms of evil, such as slavery, racism and other violations of the equal protection of natural rights.” – Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, Hillsdale College

History and Civics at Cincinnati Classical Academy

At Cincinnati Classical Academy, we believe that the United States of America is a remarkable country. Our civics education and, specifically, the teaching of American history, reflect that belief.

In history and civics classes, we have one aim above all: to inspire our students to understand the inheritance they received as Americans. To understand this clearly, we believe in fostering a humility that helps students recognize that the world in which we live, with all its benefits and also its faults, is not of our own creation. This is the beginning of American history and civic education.

We insist that our students are taught honestly, using a curriculum that presents a fair, unbiased, and comprehensive view of our nation’s history. As an essential part of our K-12 history sequence, we are using the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum to accomplish this goal.

What Is the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum?

Designed by teachers and professors at Hillsdale College, the 1776 Curriculum is a K-12 history and civics curriculum that covers the triumphs and tragedies of American history fairly and comprehensively. It determines what students should learn in history and civics based on the answers to a single question: 

What ideas, words, and deeds have most significantly formed the world into which our students were born?

Studying the answers to this question provides students the fullest understanding of the world in which they will live their lives.

What Can You Expect to See in Our History Classrooms?

At Cincinnati Classical Academy, you will first notice walls alive with the past, with facsimiles, maps, portraits and paintings from American history. You will see the students with a pencil and paper and perhaps the text of a document or historical account upon their desks. And you will see their gaze moving from their desktops to a projected image or map, and finally and most consistently, to the teacher herself. And you will hear the teacher speaking, telling a story and asking questions about it.

Why Study History?

We believe a cogent and ongoing study of history is necessary:

  • To help us develop judgment in both local and world affairs by understanding the past behavior of people and societies
  • To help us understand change and how the community, nation and world we live in came to be
  • To help us develop essential skills for good citizenship
  • To inspire us because history teaches us that a single individual with great convictions or a committed group can change the world.
  • To help us develop essential thinking skills