Is not the great defect of our education today … that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning.

Dorothy Sayers, The Lost Tools of Learning

A teacher’s primary responsibility at Trinity School is to foster an expansive sense of wonder, curiosity and investigation in your child.

But students also learn how to learn only when their education is presented to them in an orderly fashion, with greater complexity building upon a solid foundation of the basics. To that end, we employ the classical sequence of the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) to order our educational program.

Grammar

From poetry to language to science, the grammar of a discipline is its foundational principles. Learning, therefore, begins with the study of grammar. This does not mean rote memory and dry lessons, however. For instance, the grammar of science comes from direct observation and recording. Your child will spend considerable time in their earlier years noting things, keeping journals, identifying patterns and asking questions.

This stage of learning is more than a stepping stone to later study. It is exciting in and of itself. The grammar stage of education should be full of wonder and imagination for your child as he or she learns how to gather information about the world around us through observation, experience and reflection.

Logic

After an initial encounter with a subject, your child will begin to ask more probing questions. Answering these deeper questions demands a more systematic approach. It requires students to move into a logic stage of their investigation. At this stage, considerable attention is paid to systems of thought. By studying systems like biology, chemistry, calculus or political theory, your child will not only gain a powerful understanding of the way the world is ordered but also develop the tools needed to discipline his or her own inquiry.

The logic stage of learning should awaken maturing students to the power of thought itself, as they learn how to abstract, analyze and synthesize the information they have gathered.

Rhetoric

Eventually students want to start putting it all together. They want to synthesize what they have learned into a consistent view of the world. They want to draw their own conclusions, to think elegantly and to make their learning their own.

During this stage of inquiry your child will experience the final fruit of the free and disciplined exchange of ideas. As students’ own abilities to discover the truth mature, discussion takes the place of lectures and presentations. Students turn to the big questions of how the world really works, what it means to be human, how we ought to live in society with one another, and what it means for us to be in relationship to God.