Classical education is an enduring system of forming the mind and character. Rather than present each subject as an island unto itself, classical education seeks an integrative perspective, forming relationships between the subjects. The goal of classical education is the formation of both the intellect and free will of the student, properly ordered toward God; the practice, habit, and recognition of virtue, and the ability to appreciate the unity of all truth. Classical education cultivates a love of learning within the student. The goal is to teach the child “how to think” rather than “what to think.”
In keeping with the Trivium, the core curriculum will teach to the developmental stages of the child: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Although not applicable to Veritas Preparatory School, the grammar stage is the stage of “amassing facts”, and is considered to be grades 1-4. The students in this stage will acquire the basic tools of learning.
The logic stage, sometimes called the dialectic stage, is characterized by the question, “How?” These students are in grades 5-8. It is in this stage that the student begins to synthesize all that they have learned, and begins to be able to sift through facts and form an argument. They have gained a presupposed body of knowledge in the grammar stage, and now find that they are able to engage in discursive reasoning. This is also called the stage of understanding.
The rhetoric stage is the stage of wisdom. These students are in grades 9-12. In the rhetoric stage the student continues to synthesize all that they have learned, but now finds that they are able express it with depth and clarity. The student in this stage yearns to know more, seeks to find creative expression, and finds a deeper capacity for persuasive language. The Socratic method is employed in this stage to foster and develop the growth of wisdom.