Providence plug

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There's a nice story in Saturday's Edmond Sun about Providence Hall, a Christian classical school serving the Oklahoma City area. The story does a nice job of summarizing the trivium, the central concept of the classical Christian school curriculum:

The Trivium refers to three stages of learning, each of which coincide with the natural learning abilities of children.

“Children in the first phase of learning, from the ages of (about) 4 through 11, have a tremendous ability for observation and memory,” Shipma said.

This stage is called the grammar stage, where students are taught the parts of speech, basics of math including multiplication tables, historical events, science, passages of Scripture from the Bible, and more by means of recitations and drills in addition to songs and chants.

“These are all activities that come naturally and are enjoyable at this age and build a framework of knowledge,” Shipma added....

Children in the second phase of learning, roughly the ages of 12 through 14, start to think abstractly and students begin to judge and critique the things they have learned.

“Quite frankly, they like to argue,” Shipma said.

This stage is called the dialectic or logic stage and fits with this phase of the students’ lives because it emphasizes formal logic, debates and putting together persuasive reports.

“The thinking is if the students are beginning to think abstractly and debate and argue, then let’s teach them to do that correctly and with an eye to the truth,” Shipma added.

Students in the last phase of learning, covering ages 15 through 18, have the desire to express themselves in interesting and creative ways. This stage is called the rhetoric stage.

It emphasizes the preparation and presentation of eloquent and persuasive arguments.

“Students at this point deal with more in-depth world view issues as they synthesize ideas, bringing together all they have learned and presenting it intelligently, coherently and biblically,” Shipma said.

If, after reading the story, you'd like to know where you can find an education like that in the Tulsa area, mark your calendar for February 8th, when Regent Preparatory School will be holding an open house. Call Regent at 663-1002 for details.

(The story from the Sun is via Brandon Dutcher, who serves on the Providence Hall board.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 29, 2007 12:48 PM.

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