Friday, June 17, 2005

School Adopts Ancient Trivium Curriculum "For the Ancient Greeks, paideia was the process of educating man into his true form, preparing him to be a competent citizen. But as years passed, these classical methods of education gave way to, and were eventually replaced by, more contemporary teaching methods."

Now a new school in West Knoxville (TN), Paideia Academy, has structured its curriculum around the ancient classical methods.

The heart of the school's curriculum is based on the Trivium, which is an ancient concept involving grammar, logic and rhetoric. A student starts out at the grammar level, which is the most basic, and throughout his education, progresses to the rhetoric level.

'Young children are sponges,' headmaster Scott Taylor said. 'At the grammar stage in the trivium, students memorize fundamental facts, names and dates. As they get older, students stop accepting information, and start questioning it. So we teach them from the logic stage, where there are lots of critical-thinking exercises. In high school, there is an interest in self-expression and communication. So we teach subjects from the rhetoric perspective. They have debates, and papers are graded for logical argumentation.'"
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