The Art of Reason

Ad Fontes Academy takes a logical approach.

Photo courtesy of Ad Fontes Academy

Eschewing the simple memorization and regurgitation of facts, Ad Fontes Academy in Centreville embraces logic and reasoning in its classes. They want students to know why something is, not just the fact of its existence.

“Our method of classical education goes back to the historical way of teaching,” says academy president Dean Luckenbaugh, “which follows the seven liberal arts, the first three of which are grammar, logic and rhetoric. Students are learning the foundation of a subject, learning how different subjects interact, and then learning how to articulate ideas through written or oral expression.”

Eighth grade students are exposed to a full year of logic-based learning. They explore both the art and science of reasoning and how to recognize and name the fallacies within an argument. In high school, classes become more discussion-based, with students delving into subjects to form their own opinions gleaned from expert sources and personal reflection. Perhaps the best example of independent thinking is the “outside of the box” award given to students who research a topic on their own and then teach something to their teachers.

“Students thrive in an environment where they’re engaged in the class,” says Luckenbaugh, “where it’s not 45 minutes of lecture and spitting back answers, where they have to think independently. Now, is that more difficult that just spitting back facts? Yes. But I think overall it makes for a more engaging, interesting, exciting class. Sometimes students don’t even realize what’s happening to them, that they have something unique, that they are starting to think analytically about things.” AdFontes.com


This article originally appeared in our October 2018 issue. 

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