Rhetoric Stage – Thinking Critically and Communicating Persuasively
The School of Rhetoric is the capstone at Covenant, where all the individual components of a classical education come together to create true independent thinkers in our students. By this stage of a student’s intellectual growth, they are able to take the foundational information gained in the Grammar years, apply the rules of logic, and then examine ideas critically, expressing their own thoughts persuasively with insight and eloquence.
A Covenant education would not be complete without a strong sense of truth. In the Rhetoric stage, students integrate what they have learned to analyze the world around them with a Christian worldview. First Peter 3:15 reminds us that everyone should be prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks for the reason of their hope. This is the heart of the Rhetoric Stage at Covenant. Our desire is for our students to be culture changers, in which they reshape the values of the world around them.
During the Rhetoric stage, the classical curriculum is focused on helping students write well, think well and articulate their thoughts well. Thus, the main focus is not a standardized test but rather a true understanding of a subject. Covenant uses the Thayer Method for mathematics and the Socratic Method for humanities to challenge students thinking and to develop their communication skills. A student’s experience at Covenant culminates with Rhetoric/Senior Thesis in which a student researches and defends his position on a topic in front of a panel of judges.
Senior Rhetoric is a tradition in classical education and the capstone for a student’s completion of the Trivium. For the entirety of their education, classical students have been trained to master their own language through writing and speaking, to think carefully and deeply, and to argue with wisdom and clarity. During their senior year, they put these skills to the test in the pursuit of one topic. After careful research and writing, students present their ideas to the school community and a panel of experts, to which they must defend their conclusions. This capstone experience gives students the opportunity to grow both in their academic abilities and in their search for truth.
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Covenant Graduation Requirements
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