Trivium refers to the classical method of education that compliments a child’s cognitive growth. The Latin prefix “tri” meaning three and the Latin root “via” meaning way makes up the word trivium, a three-fold way. It is a progression that is naturally followed by anyone who is in the process of learning.
The three stages of the learning process are a part of the lower division of the seven liberal arts and include:
Making up the elementary grades, The Grammar Stage comprises of memorization, learning facts of reality, and basic knowledge that kids observe naturally. This stage does not focus on the answers of who, what, where and when of a subject. In these years, there is focus on what is concrete.
In this stage, children learn to reason and understand the body of knowledge memorized in the Grammar Stage, answering the ‘Why’ of a subject and providing evidence for the information learned in the former stage. It corresponds to the middle or junior high school grades, more particular emphasis on the analytical than the factual giving children do. This stage provides tools they need to come up with logical answers to the questions they might have and develop the reasoning to connect the learned facts.
This stage runs from the beginning to end of high school and encourages abstract thought. After the Grammar Stage and the Logic Stage, the Rhetoric Stage ensures that the known is understood, there is focus on understanding the hypothetical, and applying knowledge and understanding expressively, thus the ‘How’ of a subject is answered.