Curriculum Corner - The Logic Stage

Curriculum Corner

A classical curriculum is guided by the three phases of learning known as the trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Last week we reviewed key principles of the grammar stage. The logic, or dialectic stage follows.

Parents know all too well that students become argumentative as they progress into adolescence. Believe it or not, argumentative children are a good thing—if they are educated properly so their questions are productively focused and their reasoning is strong and true.

It is a natural development for children to start making connections and drawing conclusions as they gain knowledge and experience, but modern education virtually ignores Aristotelian logic talking instead about critical thinking and development. Classical education holds that the moment when adolescents start to question the world around them is the best time to start teaching them about formal logic, proper reasoning, and fallacies.

Mrs. Hull, our upper school lead teacher, provides logic instruction to our upper school students. At ILS, students in 5th and 6th grade begin their studies with informal logic. Our 7th and 8th grade students learn the basics of formal logic. They study a text and engage in informal debates designed to hone their reasoning abilities. Students will learn the basics of creating and deciphering the arguments embedded in common conversations; they will study opposing viewpoints and how to analyze them; they will learn about logical relationships, and will begin to learn how to logically analyze an argument.

On the topic of logic at Immanuel, this is what Mrs. Hull has to say:

"Logic is an exciting class for an ILS student—not only is it a unique hallmark of their education here, but it effectively is a playground for their growing minds. Inspired by the thought of learning to argue well, students will be continually guided throughout the year to argue with both discernment and grace. Logic is one tool they may employ throughout life in their pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty."


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