Drawing from his work as a teacher, Robinson argues that schools need to do better at equipping learners with the ability to deal with the uncertainties of the modern age. Working from a Classic understanding of education, this book sets out the value of learning from Ancient Greece though to the present day, and explores whether a contemporary ‘trivium’ of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric can unite progressive and traditionalist institutions, teachers, politicians and parents in the pursuit of providing an outstanding education for all children.
Taking inspiration from the past, Robinson contends that the trivium will benefit pupils from all backgrounds, and help improve social mobility by giving all pupils the chance to gain value cultural capital. Grammar he takes as the need for a strong knowledge base: the things that we all must know to function in the modern world. Dialectic as the need to question, debate and discuss ideas. Rhetoric as the ability to communicate our ideas and knowledge.
A curriculum based on these three keystones will, to Robinson’s mind, give all pupils’ the skills necessary to thrive and survive in the 21st century.
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