Something new and exciting debuted at Trinitas this fall. All logic and rhetoric school (grades 7th-12th) students and faculty members gather together during first hour on Fridays to learn, discuss, and pursue wisdom together across a broad range of topics. Even parents are welcome to participate in what we are calling Schola Seminar.
In his book Norms and Nobility, David Hicks advocates for a return to a dialectical approach to education. Especially effective in the context of teachers and students learning together, dialectical education requires learners to commit to certain positions in order to test those commitments against experience, established wisdom, and ultimately, the truths of Scripture. Often utilizing primary sources and Socratic questioning, this approach to learning fosters moral and intellectual growth in participants.
Bringing students together across several grade levels reduces the stratification inherent in age-segregated classrooms and provides an opportunity for younger and older students to learn from each other. Because Trinitas intentionally maintains small class sizes that allow for more individual participation, Schola Seminar provides students an opportunity to experience learning within a larger group as they will perhaps encounter in college.
Participants – whether students, parents, or teachers – will enjoy a wide range of topics in Schola Seminar this year. Thus far in the first quarter, students have been challenged to take ownership of the unique education they receive at Trinitas by employing the tools of learning such as commonplace books, annotations, and effective questions to enable them to hear and eventually, contribute to the great conversation, those great ideas that are foundational to a robust classical Christian education.
Later in the year, Schola Seminar will feature guest speakers, presentations from upper school faculty members, and other profitable experiences. Though we are in the first stage of what is a long-term project, in time, we believe that these intentional periods of discussion and reflection will become a profitable and cherished part of a Trinitas education.