Originally published in Givers' Perspectives on NV3P on May 25, 2014
------ Why is a new philosophy of education needed? How can we lead new generations without first deprogramming ourselves? What's wrong with "schooling"? and finally, then, what is the solution? some background:
• True Purpose Of Schooling John Gatto http://youtu.be/yOUsmIM9NwU
• What are the LOST TOOLS OF LEARNING? a paper read by Dorothy L. Sayer at a Vacation Course in Education, Oxford. https://classicalchristian.org/the-lost-tools-of-learning-dorothy-sayers/
• The best, exhaustive study: The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto (Intro + Hour 1 of 5) https://youtu.be/YQiW_l848t8
What does the school do with the children? Gatto states the following assertions in "Dumbing Us Down":
• It makes the children confused. It presents an incoherent ensemble of information that the child needs to memorize to stay in school. Apart from the tests and trials that programming is similar to the television, it fills almost all the "free" time of children. One sees and hears something, only to forget it again.
• It teaches them to accept their class affiliation.
• It makes them indifferent.
• It makes them emotionally dependent.
• It makes them intellectually dependent.
• It teaches them a kind of self-confidence that requires constant confirmation by experts (provisional self-esteem).
• It makes it clear to them that they cannot hide, because they are always supervised
. . . apparently, the last book he was writing was not published before he passed: "Fourth Purpose of Public Education" - https://youtu.be/rzBSdntnLqs
this one's experience has not been as an academic, but in RECOVERY from, and overcoming the public mis-educational & social conditioning of "the system". This quickly led me into conflict with “the law”, which became a 2-decade quest of self-education and cult-deprogramming experiences. Since equity (as the spirit and soul of the law) is the source of ethics of a society it really is the codification of the heart of that society.
The “Lost Principle” (i.e. care) has been conditioned out of us “consumers” of most academic, social-conditioning systems politically dubbed “education”. If we don’t care enough to say “No!” (i.e. the Lost Word in the servile serf’s vocabulary) and learn peaceful means to self-determine a new way of living, learning and relating with the world, how can we truly stand in our natural sovereign birthright?
a good intro on the solution was by Mark Passio on The Trivium - http://youtu.be/SJ_X1SjmA5A about an ancient method to learn and think effectively and therefore come to truth. It is like a manual for how our mind, as a "processing unit" works and how to use it in an effective way. It is the "Three-Fold Path to Truth".
here are more notes from this blogger's research on this ancient, natural method for coming to truth:
• The Goal of the Trivium (the Art & Science of the Mind): training mind how to think and creatively express itself.
• Has a proven universality of application over the last six millennia (6,000 yrs.).
• Trivium is the elementary three… meaning: where three roads meet… of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric... in that order.
• This pattern is the way our mind naturally orders itself for effective thinking (when not aggressively discouraged)
• Once conversant with this pattern, one is capable of teaching themselves
• And for developing one's own intellectual and value judgment of a high order, looking at the world, or anything else, with clarity and discernment.
• Forms a habitual (methodological) pattern of mind of HOW to think effectively, not WHAT to think (what only creates controversy)
• Used to determine reality from unreality. produces an intuitive and immediate critical/creative thought. Is the art of passing 'validated' thoughts to others, and is the essence of cogent communication.
• When one reaches this awakened state of education then one can thoroughly & critically entertain various ideas w/o necessarily embracing them (comes into possession of a truly open mind, freeing of opinions & prejudices)
Benefits which are inherent in the Trivium Method.
• The path to a challenging, productive livelihood can be intelligently defined;
• Sound physical health, a judicious ethical standard, a high level of self esteem and the sense of well-being can be optimized;
• Rewarding personal relationships will manifest through the cultivation of beneficial ethics and well-being; and
• The astuteness to best discern the issues (i.e., the quality of information) regarding security will be developed
The Trivium System for coming to Truth:
• Discovering and arranging Knowledge (a body of knowledge) under general grammar;
• Then fully Understanding that Knowledge under formal logic; and
• Wisely expressing and using that Knowledge; and understanding under classical rhetoric.
These are three distinctly different but inter-related disciplines which yield, when applied as an integrated unit-producing Objective, Verifiable, Truth.
Trivium is the premier method for independent fact checking.
1. A person is truly educated in that he can now thoroughly entertain any idea without necessarily embracing it; and,
2. Traveling somewhat in another direction, he becomes free from the prison of his own prejudicial opinions ... he obtains an open mind
Because it introduces equilibrium and balance through subjective thought with objective reality, one could, in fact, develop new and original propositional arguments and entire bodies of knowledge as competently as those respected people who have preceded him
Summary From: The Trivium Binder by Jarett Sanchez:
"The basic argument is that not only can we educate (beginning with ourselves) but that we must look to what worked in the past for indications of what is needed for our future...what was once known as the “Seven Liberal Arts & Sciences” holds the beginning of an answer to this question of what to do about education. Most particularly, it is the Trivium...which provides us with this answer. (It) provides individuals with a new option for their own mental upliftment, as well as an avenue for the creation of a new kind of teacher, a kind that does not require vast sums of government money and research to help improve the minds of others.
"While there have not always been seven liberal arts and sciences, once they were codified as such during the Middle Ages, they have always been divided into the liberal arts, a group of three subjects called the Trivium, and the liberal sciences which is a group of four subjects called the Quadrivium.
"The Quadrivium focuses solely upon the study of number in its various forms (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) but the Trivium first puts the student in touch with a systematic instruction in language and thought (by the subjects of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric) which is necessary to learn and master any subsequent subject that is chosen.
"The Trivium learning path is one that provides time-tested methods and skills for learning HOW to learn--- anything. Modern educational systems merely focus on WHAT to learn with no attention being drawn to the very concept of learning in and of itself."
"It was a saying of the 20th century philosopher and educator, Mortimer Adler, that, “Philosophy is everybody’s business.” The Trivium is the key to the philosophical path because it provides the intellectual tools needed to ask the big questions in life and to follow them wherever they may lead. The rational ability, the ability to make distinctions and form concepts, is the birth-right of every human being though it remains latent within us until we make the conscious choice to begin developing it. The path of liberal learning, via the Trivium, provides us all with a time-tested way to unlock that higher function of our mind, and to reclaim our birth-right."
"The intention of the Trivium Binder is to show that such a learning path is far from obsolete and is something that can be applied by all, regardless of class, intellectual distinction, economic bracket, gender, or experience (the “for kids” version may appear in the relatively near future).
"By compiling some of the best resources available into one three-ring binder, the Trivium Binder Project provides an introduction for the beginning student of the liberal learning path that sets a basic foundation for what will become a lifetime of advanced learning experiences. The true value in compiling these resources into one package is that not only can a student engage in these studies individually, but that the format lends itself well for use in study groups. To gather together with a group of people to learn the basic ropes of the Trivium is to empower that group of people with the ability to go on and study any subject, either individually or in groups, and to use the results of that education for the good of self, family, community, and society. We do not study the Trivium to gain control over others, but rather to grow wise together as we uplift one another."
"By starting with the Trivium Binder, modern students can come to the realization that education cannot be taught, it must be lived. Teachers cannot provide you with the powers of your own mind, they can only serve as guides towards that goal. Nor can teachers be the most useful to you if they do not have for themselves the very tools of learning which you will soon discover. . ."
The 4 "Quadrivium" Defined: (the 4 Liberating Sciences)
From: Miranda Lundy’s book - Quadrivium (by Wooden Books):
"Quadrivium's Goal is to offer a safe and reliable ladder to reach the simultaneous values of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. This in turn leads to the essential harmonious values of Wholeness. …to climb back (up) to Unity thru simplification based on the understanding gained by engaging in each area of the Quadrivium. The goal lay in finding their source (the purpose of the search for knowledge)."
1. First formulated & taught by Pythagoras around 500 B.C. … in a community where all were equal, materially and morally, women and men. Was 1st European schooling structure that honed education down to seven essential subjects.
2. Pythagoras was trained in the paths of the mystery schools of the world, ending in India
3. Pythagorus brought it to a common denominator in the way he organized it.
4. The Quadrivium arises out of the most revered of all subjects: Number (in Arithmetic, in Space, in Time, and in Space and Time.)
5. It is the art and science of matter - to do with measurement of matter.
6. Also ties mind and matter together.
7. Time and Wisdom tested… the Quadrivium offers the sincere seeker the opportunity to regain their own inner understanding of the integral nature of the universe, with themselves as an inseparable part.
"And thou shalt know that law… established the inner nature of all things alike." from the Pythagoreans (via the Golden Verses)
"Not for your sake was the world (cosmos) generated - but you were born for its sake." - Iamblichus
The Seven Combined
• Grammar = Knowledge = What?
• Logic = Reason = Why?
• Rhetoric = Communication = How?
• Arithmetic = Formal = Do • Geometry = Visual = See
• Music = Artistic = Feel • Astronomy= Exploration = Seek
By developing these basic skills, men would have the basic tools they needed to live a fulfilling and satisfying life, and to explore their emotions, dreams, ambitions, and desires.
Summary of the whole matter: “If one hasn't been exposed to this method, it is difficult to communicate to him the serenity-of-mind and self-assurance (i.e., the spiritual abundance) caused by this competence to appropriately validate one's own thinking as well as the thinking and doctrines of others. (It must be experienced)”
Some places I started in this new path of discovery:
Trivium Education: http://www.triviumeducation.com/
Unplugged Mom – “Trivium: An Introduction” – Interview with long time Trivium student, philosopher and advocate, Gene Odening. “The Trivium Improves thinking because it helps to awaken and connect dormant neurons.” Studying the trivium brings us ‘knowing’ as opposed to the ‘illusion of knowing’.
Unplugged Mom interviews Jan Irvin and Jarett Sanchez http://www.triviumeducation.com/interviews/unplugged-mom-interveiws-jan-irvin-and-jarett-sanchez/ 2-part series… explanation and exploration of this conceptual method of critical thinking & immediately apply (it) to learning, living and thinking – making the world a better place!
Trivium Binder Project - http://triviumbinder.blogspot.com/p/about-us.html
School Sucks Project, podcast with Brett Veinotte - http://schoolsucks.podomatic.com/
---- since this blog was originally published the following conversation with Gene Odening discussed the experiences of students of trivium, over-view of their progress, and how some may avoid their mistakes:
in conclusion, this one proposes it is one's "duty of care" for one's own, and for those one is responsible for, to make the seven liberating arts and sciences a foundational tool for discerning truth under one's ultimate duty to love one's creator and one's neighbor's as one's self.
continued in part 2 - "duty of care"... coming soon.
------------------------- addendum -------------------------
the good news about learning how to learn discernment to discover truth is the liberty it allows one to exclude all doctrine and ideologies (i.e. no "belief" is true). when one starts believing one can find truth within the "mind" alone, then one begins to believe one is the center that the universe revolves around. the liberating arts & sciences bring all one's senses into play to unite body-mind-soul-spirit and see one's self as a connected "cell" to all others within a living universe. the ultimate benefit comes in the discovery of truth and beauty of the sacred nature of all creation which leads to a duty of care. care for every other "self" like one love's oneself. love is the only duty, all else is vanity.
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