This week I want to encourage you to read The Lost Tools of Learning, by Dorothy Sayers. She first delivered this speech at Oxford University in 1947. She was a prolific author of both non-fiction and fiction and a friend of C.S. Lewis (i.e. The Chronicles of Narnia). Sayers died in 1957. This speech is one of the key documents in the history of the modern classical Christian education movement. It is foundational to our mission at Veritas Academy. Sayers’ application and interpretation of the medieval Trivium has profoundly influenced thinkers in the classical Christian education movement.
Sayers lamented the lack of clear thinking and sound reasoning in her day: “. . . do you sometimes have an uneasy suspicion that the product of modern educational methods is less good than he or she might be at disentangling fact from opinion and the proven from the plausible? . . . although we often succeed in teaching our pupils ‘subjects,’ we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think . . . They learn everything except the art of learning.” Sayers analysis of the weaknesses in modern education is insightful and her discussion of the medieval Trivium as a potential cure is profound.
The Trivium approach at Veritas and our emphasis on teaching children how to think can both be traced directly back to this Sayers essay. I encourage you to read The Lost Tools of Learning. As I have said before the more our parents understand and embrace classical Christian education the better Veritas becomes at fulfilling its mission.