Upper School Curriculum
Upper school includes students at both the logic (6th/7th-8th/9th) and rhetoric (9th/10th-12th) stages of learning. At the logic level of spiritual, academic, and moral development a student is ready to make connections between subjects of learning, to ask questions about the topics raised in a class, and to relate with classmates as more than playmates. They will be less afraid to challenge the teacher and the ideas she presents, which shows the development of the identity with which God has blessed the individual. However, these needful changes need to be channeled in the classroom effectively, since even Dorothy Sayers calls this the ‘pert’ period. When built upon an intentional program at the grammar stage, the logic stage allows teachers to make use of the inquisitiveness and energy of their students in debates, skits, discussions and written arguments. More responsibility is expected of students in this new paradigm.
The final stage of secondary education is the rhetoric or poetic stage. Students in the rhetoric stage are called upon to marshal facts into arguments, and to move beyond peer-level competition into mature relationships. In other words, students are trained to exhibit wisdom as learning is applied; they are to give proof to the Hebrew translation of wisdom as “skillful fingers.” With these ends in view, students learn to identify and analyze assumptions made by peers, texts and teachers, learning along the way that they must take captive every thought for Christ. A successfully trained rhetoric student should know, by the grace of our Lord, how to think God’s thoughts after him.
At TCA, we believe with other Classical Christian educators that “the teacher is the lesson.” While we aim to maintain rigor in our academic disciplines, the aim of a class always rises above its text: Latin solidifies the order of language, science kindles a desire to find order and express wonder at God’s creation, mathematics reveals underlying structure in varying magnitudes of creation, and the humanities display God’s unending providence in the superintendence of man’s affairs. Examples of curriculum are:
- Lingua Latina per se illustrata (grades 6-12)
- Apologia Science (grades 6-12)
- Classical Composition (grades 6-9)
- Logos Rhetoric (grades 10-12)
- Hake Grammar and Writing (grades 6-7)
- Veritas Omnibus history and literature (grades 6-12)