Response to The Lost Tools of Learning
Sayers believed the main problem with modern education is that children aren’t being taught to think. She believed that public education does not teach students how to understand relationships between subjects, nor does the public system teach students how to make sense of the information they learned. She was frustrated that adults cannot properly debate a question, write a lucid article in the newspaper or think for themselves when it comes to evaluating propaganda or advertising. Sayers was disheartened that students are learning everything except the art of learning itself. Her argument against our current education system reminds me of the saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for life.” Instead of just teaching subjects we should be teaching thinking, arguing and how to express conclusions. If we teach students with a different approach which focuses on the art of how to learn something new and how to make connections among the subjects we learn, then we will be educated on a deeper level – not just having knowledge, but understanding and wisdom as well.
The Trivium is Sayers answer to our problems with the current education system. The Trivium consist of three parts: Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric. These are not subjects studied individually, but methods of studying subjects. Grammar is the first part which involves learning the language and structure of a subject. Specifically, Sayers believed the Grammar stage should include observation and memorization of key concepts in Latin, Literature, History, Geography, Science and Math. For example, the grammar of History should include dates, events, anecdotes and personalities. Dialectic, or Logic is the next stage where a student learns how to use this language through analysis of the subjects. In this stage a student takes the knowledge from the grammar stage and begins to build a deeper understanding by reasoning...
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