St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Whoever teaches the truth enlightens he mind, for truth is the light of the mind” (De Veritate, 11).
St. Mary’s Catholic School Catholic Liberal Arts Curriculum
Bishop John’s statement on the Common Core: “After much consideration, the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Marquette will not adapt or adopt the Common Core State Standards which were developed for the public school system. That said, we acknowledge that there is a base of adequate secular material in the Common Core State Standards that faith-based schools could reference as part of their educational programming. While we respectfully understand that other private and Catholic schools may discern to adapt or adopt the standards for these and other reasons, we do not believe that such actions would benefit the mission, Catholic identity or academic excellence of our schools.”
St. Mary’s Catholic School is a pre-school through grade 8 school. We offer instruction in all core academic subjects as well as religion, art, music, physical education, and technology. We are currently transitioning to a Catholic Liberal Arts (Classical Education) Curriculum. What is Catholic Liberal Arts? Catholic Liberal Arts seeks the truth, goodness, and beauty in what is taught. We do this by using classical works of literature and fairy tales, such as Aesop’s Fables and works by C.S. Lewis, to help form the moral imagination. The practice of poetry memorization and emphasis on grammar helps to train the mind. Latin studies help to train a logical mind and improve English vocabulary. Students study ancient Greek and Roman history to understand the foundations of Western Civilization. An inquiry based method of science instruction helps to develop a questioning, inquisitive mind. A virtues program to develop individuals of strong moral character. All this trains students to seek the truth in the world around them and to gravitate to what is good and beautiful.
The classical model divides learning into three phases: grammar, logic, and rhetoric – known as the trivium, with each stage integrating beautifully with a child’s natural progression in cognitive development. The grammar stage is where young children learn vocabulary and enjoy repeating songs, chanting rhymes – the building blocks for later learning in science, math geography, Latin, English grammar, history, fine arts, and public speaking. The logic stage is sorting, comparing, and understanding; teenaged students are naturally more argumentative and tend to question authority and facts. The rhetoric stage is naturally when students become independent thinkers and communicators.
Students in grades 3rd through 6th are taught Latin at St. Mary’s Catholic School; students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade receive an introduction to Latin through prayers and parts of the Mass. Students in grades 7th and 8th take Spanish.
St. Mary’s School has a band for students in grades 4th through 6th.
“If we don’t understand something simply, then we don’t understand it well enough”. Einstein
Document: DoM Foundation Document