In this month’s Solid Ground, “A Practical Plan to Equip the Next Generation,” Brett builds his plan on an ancient educational model:
As our oldest daughter approached the junior-high years, my wife and I began to rethink our views on educating and discipling our kids. We were dissatisfied with things we were seeing in her life, not only academically, but also spiritually and morally. In that process of reevaluation, we discovered an ancient approach to education called “classical education,” stretching back to the Classical Greeks and Romans and formalized in the Middle Ages. Educator Susan Wise Bauer offers a concise description of this approach:
Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study [Grammar Stage]. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments [Logic Stage]. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves [Rhetoric Stage].
While not an exhaustive definition, it gets us started and highlights the three-stage pattern of classical education called the trivium….
The medievals believed this trivium pattern corresponded to the universal human experience of learning. It accurately captures the manner in which young minds are best trained. Thus, we should take this ancient approach to education and breathe into it new life for our modern context. Indeed, the trivium provides us with a three-stage approach to discipling the next generation.
Brett goes on to apply the trivium approach to apologetics instruction, outlining a plan for you to use this strategy to train your children in the truth.
The article was originally published as a chapter in A New Kind of Apologist, a collection of essays addressing current apologetics topics and strategies for reaching our culture (Alan also has a chapter); so after you finish reading the article, make sure you check out the rest of the book.