Curriculum Corner - Grammar Stage

Curriculum Corner

Immanuel Lutheran School uses a classical model of education. But what does that mean? A century ago, there wasn’t a variety of competing educational options. The principles of classical education were practically universal and had been the educational standard for centuries. In a nutshell, classical education differs from modern approaches in that it seeks to promote wisdom by teaching children how to think and learn for themselves. By contrast, modern education spends too much energy and effort simply telling kids what to think.

A classical curriculum is guided by the three phases of learning known as the trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. These three principles had been developed over two thousand
years, stretching all the way back to ancient Rome and Greece.

Modern education downplays memorization, a key characteristic of the grammar stage. Children in early grades are at the prime age to develop their memory. Learning songs, chants, and poetry comes naturally and enables children to take in large amounts of information, laying the groundwork for the logic and rhetoric stages of development. This recent op-ed from the Wall Street Journal addresses the importance of memorization and suggests what we at Immanuel already understand and value - that students who learn how to memorize when they’re young are best prepared for for future learning.

 

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