The Rhetoric Stage encompasses 9th – 12th grades (about 14-18 years old). At this stage of life, students desire to be heard and to be able to express themselves and their beliefs. Using the database of information in the Grammar Stage, and the ability to think and reason from the Logic Stage, we now develop rhetorical skills or the Art of Communication.
In this stage, we use Socratic Dialogue whereby students engage with one another on an academic topic, whether it be a passage of literature, a piece of artwork, a scientific theory, or a Theological argument. Using original sources of time-honored literature, historical documents, and art and architecture, the students will discuss in an effort to find what is truly true, good, and beautiful in this world. By engaging with one another through speech or in written form, the students tend to “own” their thoughts and build mental and academic strengths, when compared to simply memorizing things for the test on Friday.
Ultimately, we are producing young men and women who know what they believe through the truths of scripture and are equipped to engage intelligently in any subject, because they have been trained to think, not just memorize standardized test questions. This equips them to not only successfully enter college, but also the rigors of the “real world” that awaits them after high school.
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