Traditional classical education is based on a three-part process of training the mind (called the “trivium”) and the Socratic-style of inquiry. The core knowledge sequence of study functions as the trivium, the “three ways,” of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
Grammar is the first stage where students acquire a discipline’s academic vocabulary, basic knowledge, and skills. The grammar stage begins whenever we venture to learn something new.
When students know the grammar of a subject, then they can engage in it with logical questions. Through the Socratic method of “What is?” students will use their knowledge of a subject’s grammar and use logic to understand and think about a subject deeply. During the logic stage students share their curiosity and ask questions about what they learn.
In the rhetoric stage students’ judgments are based on the grammar and the “logistical” questions raised. Rhetoric is articulation, both spoken and written, a well-developed reasoned judgments in all subjects, the ability to apply knowledge in practical and meaningful ways to benefit society at large.