• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Using the Trivium Method and teaching it to the young  RSS feed

 
Larry Noel
Posts: 26
Location: NE Tennessee
2
forest garden hugelkultur woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all, I am a relative newbee that has been lurking for a few weeks and have posted a few times (and I want to give a special hat tip and thank you to Paul for his insight and perseverance in the creation of this forum for exchange of knowledge and to all those that peruse these pages and those that contribute), but now I have something important that I want to put before the forum for discussion and input, and I believe that here in the "homeschooling" section would be the appropriate place. If others have better insight, please feel free to relocate it. This is the subject of the "Trivium Method" of critical analysis. This is a subject that is dear to my heart and I see it as a major short coming in all of the home schooling articles that I have read, but I have not run across its mention in my exploration of this site so it is time to bring it up for discussion.

I have never been comfortable with the "modern education system" and I have always been one to question everything and search out my own understanding of things that interested me, which is what ultimately led me to this site. I never "believe" what anyone tells me (if you want to read more about this the introduction of my book "The Illusion's Apocalypse" can be read for free here http://www.theillusionsapocalypse.com/disclaimer.html

I go by the pen name of "The Practical Madman" and I create hand carved wood signs (http://www.practicalmadman.com), but I have always had a passion for knowledge, even though I could not put up with "all the crap I learned in high school," (hat tip Paul Simon) and could never put up with the "higher" levels of learning after my exposure to that previous crap.

I am not trying to sell a book, though a permanent income stream would be welcomed (lol) but I AM interested in improving the destiny of mankind, so I freely give the first three chapters for free to anyone interested. I just want to start dialogues that will "benefit the good of all" and that begins with an application of critical analytical thinking skills, which I find are sorely lacking in the world today and are slowly (but ever quickening) becoming extinct through the Prussian education system that is being used today to train good little voters and soldiers that lack possession of critical thinking skills. The last thing "THEY" want is people that can think critically and have questions. It is not nice to question. So far the reviews I have received on my book range from "this guy is completely insane" to "this guy is an unrecognized genius." I request your analysis, but most of all I request your input towards the problems we face, just as this site was established to do.

From the beginning of chapter one which can be read for free here http://www.theillusionsapocalypse.com/chapter-1.html (and I recommend the reading if it to everyone if nothing more than for "food for thought" - that is why I put it up for free):

"For we let our young men and women go out unarmed,
in a day when armor was never so necessary.
By teaching them all to read,
we have left them at the mercy of the printed word.
By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words.
They do not know what the words mean;
they do not know how to ward them off
or blunt their edge
or fling them back;
they are a prey to words in their emotions
instead of being the masters of them in their intellects..."

Dorothy Sayers "The Lost Tools of Learning" 1947

This is what I am talking about. Our children (and ourselves if we are honest) do not "know what the words mean, or how to blunt their edge or fling them back." "Political Correctness" and the Prussian education system that we have all had inflicted upon us, has left us unable to critically process and analyze new information. We (and our children) are being reduced to the lowest common denominator (the "common core") in our critical thinking skills, and it is time for us to reverse that trend, and that begins with a critical analysis of reality. That begins with an accurate defining of the words and their etymology, and learning to "blunt their edge or fling them back." This is the greatest gift we can give our off spring or ourselves. This is the first step in the Trivium, "Grammar," followed by Logic and then Rhetoric. There are three sides to a coin, and most inflicted by the Prussian education system hold only one side and do not even recognize the existence of the other two. Logic will give you the second side, and Rhetoric will give you the third, and then you will "own the coin." Until you possess all three sides, your knowledge is "valueless." I call training in the Trivium as the "Mental Martial Arts" because it will give the one who studies it the ability to "blunt the edge of words or fling them back." As I say, it takes three points to prove a line, three legs to stand a stool, and there are three sides to a coin, so follows there are three steps in critical analysis. If we are not taught those three steps, we are lost.

The permaculture movement is the exact place that this dialogue should be taking place, but yet I find no discussion of it. We are all about trying new things, sharing knowledge, and working with nature for the "benefit of all," and it is a natural human trait to question everything, but that has been systematically destroyed by the "education system" for many generations now (when I think of "systems" I think of "sewerage systems", that is my critical analysis of the "system" we are all influenced by today.) This is an important place to begin our "transformation" of the world, by transforming our way of thinking and analyzing new information with a critical and analytical method, and then passing those questioning traits to our children along with the ammunition to critically analyze new information (the METHODS of the Trivium Method). When we do not question methodically, a "cognitive dissonance" develops that shuts down forward progress. If "home schoolers" simply repeat what they know and have been taught, then we ourselves install the Prussian education system into the next generation for "THEM."

Permaculture is all about developing the "culture" to be self sustaining, and what culture can be more important towards this goal than our own "system"atic critical analytical skills and that of our children? (the ability to process all of the "crap" in the world today.) Agriculture or human culture ... where do your passions lie? We can not progress without sustainable agriculture, but we can not see the forest for the trees without human culture. The growing of humanity is where our final intentions should lie.

 
Sebastian Köln
Posts: 103
Location: Germany · Schleswig-Holstein · Eutin
2
bike toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Larry,

when I saw the topic of your post the thing that cached my attention was "teaching to the young".
Not knowing about the Trivium method I scanned over your post, followed the reference to the work of Dorothy Sayers and finally started to read your first chapter.

I need to make a few statements:
- simply fighting back is not going to work. (If we play a chess game and I do not follow the rules, you can't "win" the game. The only option is to stop playing.)
- knowledge about logic and rhetoric is useful, but teaching them explicitly limits the possibilities to experiment of the children.

From my experience with (young) people there is one important way that prevents them from developing a sense for logic:
The fear of failure. One cannot learn without being allowed to make mistakes. Among all that had difficulties with logic was common that where taught not to fail.

The abuse of words by ignoring their meaning and definition is another topic…
 
Larry Noel
Posts: 26
Location: NE Tennessee
2
forest garden hugelkultur woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I need to make a few statements:
- simply fighting back is not going to work. (If we play a chess game and I do not follow the rules, you can't "win" the game. The only option is to stop playing.)
- knowledge about logic and rhetoric is useful, but teaching them explicitly limits the possibilities to experiment of the children.


Thank you for replying to my post Sebastian. I agree that simply fighting back will not work and that the best option is to not play the game. But when your opponent has all of the guns and jails, you are kind of forced to play the game, so a little "common sense" and finely honed ability to figure the game out will be a great help. An ability to recognize the fallacies and the ability to point them out will go a long way in this game. Fighting back will not work, but ignoring the problem also will not work, and the option to not play is not on the table.

I disagree your second statement though. Teaching a child the Trivium gives them the tools to accurately analyze the results of their experiments and that gives them incentive to experiment all the more. If a child experiments and does not realize the importance of what that experiment produced, they will tire of experimentation and just sit back and let someone else tell them what they are supposed to see and feel, or watch cartoons and let someone else's imagination entertain them. Experimentation is what a child does and they need to be given the tools to do so successfully.

It is all about freedom, and freedom must be exercised or it can be lost, but doing the exercise wrong can do damage. It is best to have a little training before one exercises. The Trivium is part of the Liberal Arts that is required to maintain a firm grasp on your freedom, and to me that is one of the greatest gifts we could give a child. From advertising to oppressive government, there is a constant bombardment of fallacies and a constant attack on our freedom, and unless you have the tools, you will loose this war (game.) A child raised with the Trivium can never be lied to and that goes a long way in this game. As Dorothy Sayers said, "They do not know what the words mean, or how to blunt their edge, or fling them back." "The fear of failure" is bread by an untrained mind. A trained mind is one that is sure and steady and not afraid to fail, because they know that a failure is only a learning experience, and is nothing to fear.
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
111
bee books chicken duck goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Larry Noel wrote:This is the first step in the Trivium, "Grammar," followed by Logic and then Rhetoric. There are three sides to a coin, and most inflicted by the Prussian education system hold only one side and do not even recognize the existence of the other two. Logic will give you the second side, and Rhetoric will give you the third, and then you will "own the coin." Until you possess all three sides, your knowledge is "valueless." I call training in the Trivium as the "Mental Martial Arts" because it will give the one who studies it the ability to "blunt the edge of words or fling them back." As I say, it takes three points to prove a line, three legs to stand a stool, and there are three sides to a coin, so follows there are three steps in critical analysis. If we are not taught those three steps, we are lost.

Since this is the homeschooling forum, have you got any suggested resources for homeschooling parents who want to incorporate the method into their curriculum?
 
Larry Noel
Posts: 26
Location: NE Tennessee
2
forest garden hugelkultur woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The site I discovered and used as a spring board is http://www.triviumeducation.com/trivium/ There are a lot of audios to listen to and there are numerous links to other sites and recommendations on books to read. Another great site is https://www.tragedyandhope.com/trivium/

For one to teach the Trivium, one must fully understand it, so the parent has as much homework ahead as the child. I am not a teacher, but I am a diligent student, and I recognize the need for humanity as a whole to begin to think critically, and this is a METHOD that works and is so easy to learn it becomes instinct. To repair humanity we must first work on ourselves. If we can give the next generation tools to shorten their work load there, by not letting all of the cognitive dissonance ever get planted into their heads, the world will be a much better place and they will be secure in their freedom. One must possess a method to critically analyze every "fact" they are ever told, or they will simply absorb those "facts" as reality. A lot of the facts contradict each other and this causes a cognitive dissonance. This is the main problem humanity suffers from today. We can fix that.
 
Not so fast naughty spawn! I want you to know about
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!