19 Aug 2013
This is a whopping piece of work. It’s brilliant, it’s hard work and it’s a piece of serious scholarship.
Martin Robinson has constructed an argument of elegance, depth and simplicity. He has set himself a big task: to integrate the ancient disciplines of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric to re-imagine thinking about education, teaching and learning. Today. The work is driven by a desire to draw the kind of education he would like for his young daughter. What he was after was ‘an attitude to learning that is based in knowledge, argument, engagement, belonging and the capacity to make a difference.’ In going back to the beginnings of learning, he found the Trivium.
I hope I’m not oversimplifying, but my reading of the book is that there are four elements. The first is the compelling story of his own practice. Then, an overview of the origins and developments of the trivium, a synthesis of current thinkers on the relevance of the trivium today, and finally how the trivium might work today.