St. Croix Preparatory Academy is based on a classical model of education. A classical model focuses on providing students with the lifelong educational tools to learn and think for themselves. The classical tradition is grounded in the time-tested methodology of learning called the “Trivium”, which recognizes that critical learning skills must precede critical thinking skills.
The Trivium methodology is organized into the following three stages corresponding to the general stages of a student’s cognitive development:
The first phase of the Trivium is Grammar (grade level K – 4). Grammar emphasizes the facts and rules of each subject upon which later learning is built. This stage focuses on the accumulation of knowledge and the rules related to each particular subject. This mirrors the stage of development where children love to mimic, recite, chant, and memorize. The objective of this phase is to provide each student with a strong foundation of subject matter KNOWLEDGE.
According to E.D. Hirsch, author of Why Knowledge Matters (2016), knowledge is cyclical and systematic. Students need to be taught through direct instruction a coherent, specific content so that they may lead to meaningful thoughts, actions, and applications. By implementing a liberal arts curriculum through the Core Knowledge Sequence, the Lower School’s purpose is to build the foundation to prepare them for the Logic and Rhetoric stages of the classical education experience.