Sir Francis Bacon
The Rhetoric phase corresponds roughly to 10th-12th grades. It is also called the Poet stage.
“The study of rhetoric is designed to make success in speech a matter of skill and practice, not accident” (S. Wise Bauer).
What teenager is not consumed with self-expression? This expression takes all different forms and many of them inarticulate. Students hone an ability to write and speak winsomely in each discipline.
At this time, there is a complete move away from textbooks in favor of original sources. There is no need to read a textbook’s short synopsis on Plato’s Republic. The student can read what Plato wrote for herself, work through the content and respond clearly. By this point, the student is able to place information in the context of a historical body of facts, unpack the reasons, make connections and decide what they think.
Now, it is time to polish the ability to communicate personal reflections with others. We, also, want students to have the opportunity to devise independent studies for a more personal experience and participate in master teacher series with visiting professors.
Philadelphia Classical School is a long way from having high schoolers, but we plan to add grades until we do. We believe that putting in the work during the Grammar phase, but not having the opportunity to see the process all they way through would be anticlimactic. We want our students to have the full benefit of this thoughtful and thorough approach to education.