Ascension Classical School uses a cognitive-developmental model commonly referred to as the classical model. It best respects the developmental stages of a child’s learning abilities and teaches in such a way as to take advantage of and build upon those natural stages of cognitive maturation. Teaching and learning, therefore, follow a pattern from the more concrete to the more abstract.
The classical model is built upon the Trivium used in the Middle Ages. This Trivium consists of three parts:
- Grammar, which involves the memorization of basic facts about a subject, is taught to younger children who naturally love to chant, recite, and memorize.
- Dialectic, or Logic, which is the study of argumentation and formal logic. This emphasis fits well with the middle and early high school years when young people begin to question, to challenge, and to test things for themselves. The Logic stage will teach them how to integrate facts into a coherent system that reflects biblical truth.
- Rhetoric is the phase of the Trivium in which the student learns how to express what he thinks in a manner worthy of the Truth. Obviously, rhetoric includes teaching speech, debate, essay writing, etc. Style and clear-minded expression are important.
All three elements are, to varying degrees, present at each grade level, but more emphasis, by necessity, is placed on the element that fits the student developmentally.