**The Logic Stage (Grades 6-9)**

Students develop at an individual pace, however, most reach a naturally argumentative stage during early adolescence. Beginning around the age of 13, children begin to develop analytical thinking skills and can understand more abstract concepts. After accumulating a storehouse of facts during the grammar stage, the student is now ready to synthesize this knowledge, draw conclusions and begin to understand concepts. Though humans are given the use of reason, this like all gifts, must be developed over time and with practice. The curriculum of the Middle School recognizes the transition into the logic stage during grades 7 - 9.

Traditional Logic is taught and then used as a tool across the curriculum, training the student to consider all things logically. In this phase the child is taught more by principles than by memorization. The student begins to think analytically in the languages studied and learns the interrelations that exist among the principles of the various disciplines, leading to a good understanding of those principles. The study of both Formal Logic and Material Logic prepares students for the Philosophy and Apologetics courses they will undertake in high school. Studying Philosophy without understanding how the ancient philosophers reasoned from premise to conclusion is like studying literature without a knowledge of the alphabet. Students are taught how to recognize fallacies and are given both a protective armor from the modernist world and a sharp sword to be used in their own rhetorical discourse.

The final stage is rhetoric, or the art of persuasive speaking and writing, presented in the tenth through twelfth grades. This part of the Trivium gives the students the opportunity to develop speeches for various audiences and learn well the art of writing. Students begin to develop a voice to convey their views of the subjects learned.

Logic & Rhetoric Curriculum

**Mathematics & Science**

This is the time to begin learning such things as persuasive writing and debate, but also about the scientific process and how a hypothesis can become a theory, which can become a law. During the gramar stage, science is discovered through observation. Students learn how scientists classify their observations through comparisons and contrasts. Observations lead us to a knowledge of the world around us and we begin to wonder about causes. Our Middle School curriculum addresses the student's natural desire to investigate, and to find causes and reasons. At the same time, students are given an introduction into the various fields of science, building a foundation for later study in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Other tools needed for the physical sciences are gained through a study of mathematics. The math of middle school is abstract but is built upon the concrete facts of arithmetic studied in the primary and grammar classes. With a strong foundation in arithmetic, students begin to learn about Algebra and Geometry in preparation for the sciences and advanced mathematics of high school.

The subjects of middle school math and science: Pre-Algebra, General Science, Algebra I, Geometry, and Physical Science

**The Quadrivium**

Students in classical schools became masters of their own thoughts and words through the arts of the Trivium. Through the four mathematical arts of the Quadrivium, they began to gain knowledge about the world.

Geometry contains amazing truths about shapes, arithmetic about the kinds of numbers. Both of these disciplines were considered delightful because of the truths they taught, and useful because they developed strength of mind. Astronomy and Music showed that abstract mathematical truths can make sense of the motions of the heavens and of the human heart in response to rhythm and harmony. These studies opened up wider vistas leading to questions about the nature of the Maker of the heavens, and the human soul.

Because mathematics requires little experience to see the truth of its starting points, students can come to know them with certainty and clarity. Schools should choose texts in these areas that begin from clearly known first principles to argue step-by-step to remarkable conclusions.

Yet the role of the Quadrivium has to be a matter for particular discussion in schools today. Algebra was unknown to ancients, yet it occupies the central role in the modern mathematical curriculum. Do algebra and calculus reveal truth and arouse wonder? Or are they merely problem-solving techniques that train students to think and respond like computers?

*--The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education*