Rhetoric is the art of communicating well. Students are expected to be clear, elegant, and reasoned communicators.
In the rhetoric stage, First through Fourth-Level School of Rhetoric (9th – 12th grades) students use knowledge and critical thinking skills to write and speak with fluency, eloquence, and persuasiveness about all subjects in the curriculum. The study of history, literature, government, philosophy, ethics, art, and music appreciation have become so intertwined that they are studied together and examined through seminars in all subject areas. Advanced science, mathematics, and world languages are studied as well as rhetoric and debate.
At Parnassus, the School of Rhetoric prepares students to begin to develop original arguments, support their claims, profess well-informed opinions, and debate ideas. Writing and oration are dominant modes of expression intended to persuade listeners and inspire dialogue. Students are liberated to analyze what they have learned in the prior stages of the Trivium and use that knowledge to express their own opinions.