Philosophy of Education
Saint Therese Classical Academy follows a liberal arts curriculum. Classically, the liberal arts are divided into the trivium (consisting of grammar, logic and rhetoric) and the quadrivium (consisting of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy). These disciplines provide the student with tools of learning and an introduction to the intellectual life. The art of grammar teaches the student to read and compose sentences well. Logic teaches reasoning and the intellectual methods that yield science. Rhetoric teaches persuasion and discourse used when bringing the truth to others. Grammar, logic and rhetoric are basic tools that the young mind needs to grow in understanding, knowledge, and ultimately, wisdom. Since the student is familiar with quantity, yet less familiar with the order and structure of nature, and far less familiar with the matters of wisdom, the mathematical sciences are especially proportioned to the young mind. Hence along with the trivium the student studies the quadrivium containing mathematical disciplines.
Arithmetic and Geometry consider number and magnitude respectively. Music uses number and ratio to produce harmony. Astronomy applies the properties of magnitude to explain the motions of the heavens. In addition to these, Latin is studied to practice the art of grammar.
The trivium strengthens the young mind with the tools of learning while the quadrivium provides an arena appropriate for the young mind in which the tools can be used. Each of the liberal arts is woven into the curriculum at levels appropriate for the age. For example, while grammar is formally taught throughout the curriculum, logic and rhetoric are taught only materially as their formal study is appropriate for a later age. Growth in knowledge and wisdom requires experience. The studies of literature, geography, history, and natural science are added to the trivium and quadrivium to broaden the students’ experience. Literature and history broadened the student’s experience of humanity.
Geography and natural science broaden the student’s experience of nature.
The crowning discipline of the curriculum is theology. Each discipline prepares the mind for the contemplation of God. The theology tutorial formally considers our relationship to God by considering the Catholic church’s perennial teachings.
Saint Therese Classical Academy supplements its curriculum with many cultural, service, and outdoor activities. These activities serve to offer practical application to ideas learned in the classroom, build character and round out the education of the students.
Futhermore, having a sister campus in the majestic Santa Barbara foothills offers our students a first-hand opportunity to cherish the beauty of God’s handiwork in nature as well as instill the duty of stewardship toward the natural environment. Likewise, opportunities for animal husbandry develop the virtues of responsibility and a deeper appreciation for “all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”