The Geneva School of Manhattan follows a classical model of education based upon the trivium and was one of the first schools to implement Singapore Math.
Trivium means “three roads” or three phases of learning (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric) that correspond to a child’s natural development and teaches the “art of learning.”
Preschool through Lower School children love to learn about the world and all that’s in it. Their brains are particularly wired to memorize information more quickly than at any other time in their lives. Taking advantage of these sponge-like years, the classical model pours in all the key grammatical and mathematical building blocks and does so using fun, lively, developmentally appropriate methodologies, such as music, chants, songs, rhymes, and poetry. Geneva School children love to sing, dance, and clap out history timelines, science facts, Bible verses, and grammar rules. Through teaching the fundamental principles of language, mathematics, science, history, French, Bible, chess, and the finearts, students learn to think critically, write clearly, and begin to speak convincingly.
Fifth through Eighth Grade children naturally become more argumentative and begin forming their own strong opinions. This is a hallmark of the logic stage of classical education, in which teachers encourage students to argue, debate, and engage critical thought. Students engage primary sources and apply knowledge, historical context, and the fine points of logic. All subjects are taught in the Socratic method with an interdisciplinary approach, so that subjects intertwine in unique, relevant ways. Within this learning environment, students discover their own specific passions, talents, and potential.
Grades Ninth through Twelfth at Geneva School is more than polish. It seeks to deepen core subjects, broaden them, show their interrelatedness and alignment with a fast-moving world. The goal is wisdom and eloquence. Listening well leads to communicating well; this combination fosters goodwill and civility. To this end, we seek to prepare students who are comfortable in their own skin and extend that comfort to others. We desire to match form and content so that our students know how to appreciate and articulate the contours of life from tragedy to comedy and everything in between. More importantly, we desire that our students know transcendent truths in a multicultural world so that they may be good and seek the common good of others. Undergirded by an ever-deepening understanding of their identity in Christ, students acquire skills for a lifetime and are prepared to become leaders in scholarship, virtue, and faith.
Beginning in 2009, Geneva School transitioned to using Singapore math as its mathematics curriculum, making it one of the first schools in the city to do so. Singapore math is widely known around the world for producing superior math test scores; it teaches fewer subjects with the goal of completion, versus the spiral approach of other math programs. Furthermore, it adapts well to gifted and talented students, allowing them to delve deeper into mathematical studies instead of reviewing and learning in the more lateral math methodology. (This article in New York Times highlights the advantages of Singapore math.)
In each grade, students are assessed individually so that teachers may:
- Develop customized homework to further challenge students
- Create individual assignments and classroom projects to encourage student curiosity
- Enrich the school day through various in-class and after-school activities that support their unique talents and provide opportunities for personal growth