The Trivium

The trivium is most easily understood first by realizing that it is not some fly-by-night modern educational theory, but tried and true laws of learning. It can be looked at in two ways: as instructional stages that correspond to cognitive development, and as a natural process that is followed anytime by any person of any age learning something new. As instructional stages, the trivium follows this progression:

We emphasize the memorization of concrete facts which correspond to the elementary grades.

Logic emphasizes understanding and analytical thinking. We study the why and how of each subject. The study of formal logic (fallacies and syllogisms) comes here, when teenagers question the status quo. It is here that the art of debate begins to emerge.

Rhetoric emphasizes expression and abstract thinking and corresponds to the high school grades. We will add these grades in the future.

At this time students are interested in presenting themselves well, so we take advantage of this stage by teaching them how to express their ideas most effectively - through mature, respectful, creative, and persuasive speech and writing.

It is an absolutely beautiful experience to see the classical student progress through the various stages of the Trivium!.