Trivium

Dr. Shell teaches philosophy, logic and ethics at Jefferson Community and Technical College here in Louisville and earned his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Kentucky.  He earned two Master’s degrees at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Biblical Languages and Archeology and did his undergraduate work in Bible and Biblical Languages at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. Michael and Valerie have three children: Trinity (who is well known to the Ascension family), Autumn, and Justice. Dr. Shell also pastors a small church in the west end of Louisville. In his free time, he enjoys reading and the great outdoors.

You can reach Dr. Shell at mshell@ascension-parish.com

Class Description

In our continued effort to provide an education that raises above the ordinary, Ascension offers a unique and extraordinary course called Trivium!  While this class is offered exclusively at Ascension it is not new. It has deep roots in the earliest traditions of the great Catholic universities of Europe.  The Trivium has three parts: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. These three ideas form the foundation for education and armed with these skills students can be lifelong learners in any subject.  Think of it this way: Language is INPUT, Logic is PROCESS, and Rhetoric is OUTPUT. For this class, Grammar (think language) will focus on mastering the Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes that make up the majority of English words.  The average middle schooler will encounter 10,000 new words every year and 80% of them have Latin or Greek roots. In the words of Sister Miriam Joseph (The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric, 2002), “logic is the art of thinking; and rhetoric is the art of communicating thought from one mind to another.”  This sounds like heavy stuff, and it is. As a professor of philosophy and logic I have worked with these idea for many years, however, I also taught middle school for over a decade and I love this age group. This course will be taught once a week in a fun interactive way, and your students will come out thinking more clearly, able to express themselves with confidence, and be able to confront new information with tools to help them absorb concepts and not just read words.  I have set the bar very high and am excited to start our journey together

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