The classical method of education is a three stage approach to instruction with the goal of producing students who can apply knowledge and think independently. Students taught using the classical approach can be characterized as creative, inventive, and thoughtful problem solvers. They are capable of logical debate and meaningful expository writing.
The three part approach of classical education is known as the Trivium which consists of the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages. These three parts of the Trivium can also be synonymously described as knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Grammar (knowledge) is the first and developmental stage of the Trivium which covers the core subjects of math, science, history, and English, and also includes art, music, Latin, and methods of logical analysis as a foundation for learning.
During the Elementary years, students in the grammar stage accumulate and memorize information about each subject while forming a knowledge base to be used in the second and third stages of instruction, logic and rhetoric.
During Jr. High School (logic stage), students synthesize this foundational information to reason, realize principles and gain an overall understanding about each subject.
At the High School level (rhetoric stage), students utilize the accumulation of knowledge and understanding through wise expression and communication skills both written and oral.
Adapted from Classical and Christian Education by Gregg Strawbridge