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Month: December 2019

What Are the Liberal Arts and How Do We Teach Them? (6) – Astronomy

At first glance it seems odd that astronomy makes the seven Liberal Arts. Science makes sense, by why just astronomy? Why not chemistry or physics? The short answer is that astronomy was the only mature science in the pre-modern world. The study of physics was limited to mechanics and knowledge necessary for engineering—it was not …

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What Are the Liberal Arts and How Do We Teach Them? (5) Arithmetic and Geometry

Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are the foundations upon which all further learning is grounded. The three together constitute the trivium; the four subjects that traditionally followed the trivium were arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music—collectively they form the quadrivium. The goal of arithmetic is to learn how to calculate. That is simple enough. But there are …

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What Are the Liberal Arts and How Do We Teach Them? (4) – Rhetoric

Rhetoric is “the art of a good man speaking well.” Rhetoric forms the final part of the trivium of grammar, logic, rhetoric. Behind this progression was the understanding that one cannot teach a person how to think or communicate without material—students need something to think about before they can learn how to think. The grammar …

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