ASA offers a Catholic* Classical education. The core of Classical Education is the trivium, which is a teaching model that seeks to tailor the curriculum subject matter to a child’s cognitive development. The trivium emphasizes concrete thinking and memorization of the facts of the subjects in grade school; analytical thinking and understanding of the subjects in middle school; and abstract thinking and articulation of the subjects in high school. There are several key reasons why it is an ideal choice for students with or without special needs:
- The subject content is tailored to a child’s natural cognitive development. It capitalizes on a student’s natural abilities at every stage of development.
- Its highly structured and systematic scope of subject matter make it an ideal model for educating students of varying learning styles, challenges and ages. It constantly builds upon previously learned material and makes concrete connections between it and the newly learned information. When students can see the connection between various subject matters, retention and comprehension significantly increase. This builds the foundation for the later stages of development when they will need to apply higher order thinking skills such as analysis, judgment, and evaluation to this content.
- It allows for the flexibility to cover the same content with an unlimited number of ways to modify it according to each child’s needs. This would also be beneficial to the advanced student who typically is forced to work below level because there are no provisions in place to help this student work at his/her own level.
- It offers the opportunity for approaching education with a spiral model, a continuous revisiting of concepts but at a deeper level each time. Students with disabilities (along with those without disabilities) profit greatly from this repetition.
- It prefers a hands-on, experimental education supported with the use of “real” books instead of only textbooks. Textbooks are utilized more as resource books instead of as the core content. Often students who have learning challenges learn kinesthetically and struggle with a primarily textbook model of learning.
*All Saints Academy is not an entity of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh.