Teaching Students to Think, Speak, and Understand
The "three ways" or Trivium of classical education are the language arts of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
The art of expressing correct reasoning using language
The art of communicating "well," adding the perfections of beauty to the truths of language
Examining how the tools of Logic and Rhetoric find application in a variety of specific sciences
The Trivium is best understood as an integrated whole. Grammar is studied, formally, in our Latin program; here you find Logic and Rhetoric in years I and II. These arts are the tools that precede and make possible all further studies, especially philosophy and theology. In the third and final course, the students examine how the tools they have learned find application in a variety of specific sciences, setting up the transition from the Trivium to the Quadrivium.
Our "school of philosophy" courses seek to offer guidance in the pursuit of wisdom, the most important purpose to which the tools of the trivium can be applied. Taking first man and his nature as our focus, we next look at moral theology, then God as known and/or sought by our natural abilities and natural law particularly, and finally God as revealed by Faith. The whole is meant to bring the student to a knowledge of the self and an awareness of the unique message and fulfillment that Christ offers to our basic human need.
Primer? Our Primer courses are intended to help 6th–7th grade students learn the skills necessary to be independent learners while introducing them to curricular content. These classes teach important habits of mind for study and introduce strategies to develop memory. Class time is spent on drilling content with direct instructor feedback.
The Liberal Arts
The classical cannon of the liberal arts includes the language arts of the trivium ~ grammar, logic, and rhetoric ~ and the "arts of the real," the quadrivium ~ arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The purpose of these two sets of arts is the contemplation of "logos" (reason, word, order), on the one hand, in thought and speech, and on the other, in things, understood quantitatively. Theses arts were studied as a preparation for the culmination of education in philosophy and theology. The unifying principle of this educational approach is Christ himself, the divine orderer. These seven ways (-vium) all lead to the source and summit of life itself, the Trinity. In contrast to the Traditio Nostra great books courses, the material covered is arranged topically, according to the development of the mind as it progresses into wisdom. We begin with a focus on language and thought (the tools of science), move into a consideration of the created world as revealed through quantity (mathematics), the natural sciences, and the human person, and culminate with the study of God, the source of all.
Why focus upon the Trivium?
- Teaches students to reason well
- Prepares students for the study of philosophy and theology
- Points students to Christ, the divine Logos.
- Focuses students upon language and thought
- Helps students understand the created world
- Leads students to a proper understanding of the nature of the human person.