Back to the Classics

To teach, to learn, to change

So what do they get?

I’ve talked a lot about the process of the Freeman Academy: what will be taught, how the teaching will be done, who will do it. I’ve talked about the abstract goals: better prepared citizens, men and women who can appreciate the intellectual in life and still tend to the practical issues of the day to day. I haven’t talked about the concrete outputs, certifications and such that schools are expected to provide.

The names are uncertain, but these are the offerings I have in mind:

Certificate of Preparation
The student has fulfilled the minimum requirements of Jefferson’s public education objectives
Certificate of Completion
The student has completed a course of study that fulfills the highest requirements for high school graduation in the United States. This will change, obviously, as state requirements change, but a student completing this will always have completed at least the requirements for thier state.
Trivium Certificate
The student has completed advanced study of the subjects included in the classical Trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
Quadrivium Certificate
The student has completed advanced study of the subjects included in the adapted Quadrivium: mathematics, the physical sciences, music, and the visual arts.
Certificate of Liberal Artistry
The student has completed the requirements of both the Trivium and Quadrivium Certificates and passed some kind of final examination I’m thinking some kind of thesis).
Individual Subject Masteries
The student has completed advanced study of a particular subject. In my mind, this would be about the same knowledge level as an associates degree, but with a narrower focus (ie no general education requirements)

Some notes, as always. The Certificate of Completion could also be called the Diploma. The way it works is to take the toughest requirements ande combine them. For example if state A requires civics and geometry to graduate and state B requires trigonometry and fluency in a foreign language, the Certificate of Completion will require civics, trig, and completion of the Trivium in a language other than the student’s native tongue.

I’m not certain what level of knowledge to require for the various subjects in the quadrivium, because so many of them are open-ended. For math, do you require trigonometry? Calculus? This is another place where I need to consult with people who have more in-depth knowledge of the subjects, and look at the historical expectations on these things. This applies to the Subject Masteries as well. Because students can take classes from the Academy at their own pace, measurements of time (like “three years of English”) are pretty useless. It’s not about how much time you take, it’s about what you know and understand.

The Certificate of Liberal Artistry will be a challenging thing to obtain (I expect to work my butt off to earn it myself), and will be much more significant than a Diploma. That said, Anyone who has earned a Trivium Certificate and the Certificate of Preparation should be well prepared to go into business or a trade, or go on to study any specialty they’re interested in. Those two things should leave them ready to learn anything else they want to quickly and effectively, and make themselves useful in the world.

One other idea that I’ve been kicking around is letting people or organizations customize their own courses of study from the classes that we offer. This becomes even more useful when expand to include training as well as education. Oh, did I not mention we would do that eventually? 🙂 That’s part of my long-term planning; I’m trying to focus on the present as much as possible. Still, being able to create educational expectations could be useful to all kinds of organizations. I’m not sure whether this would be feasible to implement, but I love customization. We’ll have to see what the software we end up using can handle. For now, what do you all think of the options available?


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