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What is the trivium?
Volume 55, Program 17
10/5/2004
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Today on Home School Heartbeat, Michael Farris discusses classical education with Leigh Bortins, founder of Classical Conversations.

    Michael Farris:
    Leigh, classical education is based on the trivium. Can you define that for our listeners?

    Leigh Bortins:
    Yes, I can. I like to start them off with Proverbs 24:3–4 which says, "Through wisdom is a house built; by understanding it is established; by knowledge shall the chambers be filled." The trivium is what defines a classical education: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. And biblically that would be knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. So on an academic level—let's pick on history—grammar would be who did what, where, and when. Why would be the dialectic or understanding level, and then being able to explain it to other people and write essays and speeches and be a politician and relate it back to history would be the wisdom or the rhetoric level of classical education. Another example of a trivium in a classical education is—let's pick on arithmetic or math. Arithmetic would be the grammar of mathematics, algebra would be the processing or the dialectic stage of mathematics, and the rhetorical stage would be applying it (like in the field of physics or chemistry, trigonometry—the varied uses of math). So the classical model works for all fields of education.

    Mike:
    Leigh, thanks so much for that good introduction to classical education. Tomorrow we're going to discuss how parents can overcome the challenges of teaching this approach. I'm Mike Farris.

You can find out more about Classical Conversations by visiting our website at homeschoolheartbeat.com. That's homeschoolheartbeat.com. If you'd like to receive Home School Heartbeat's daily email transcript, visit our website at homeschoolheartbeat.com. Or call 1-866-338-8614.


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Classical Conversations

by
Leigh Bortins

You can find out more about Leigh Bortins' classical education program by going to her website at the above link. To read Dorothy Sayers' groundbreaking essay that inspired the modern classical education movement, click on the link below.

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