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.
Fifth through Eighth Grade children naturally become more argumentative and begin forming their own strong opinions. This is the perfect age to introduce formal debate and logical argumentation. Students begin to think critically about the facts they have learned and are able to 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.
This is typically the high school years, however at Geneva School we bring this phase down to our Seventh and Eighth Grade students, allowing them to develop exceptional writing and oratory skills. Upper School students enjoy regular opportunities for public speaking and work on an individual thesis project for their Eighth Grade year.
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