APPENDIX 1: “The Lost Tools of Learning” (part 17)
The scope of Rhetoric depends also on whether the pupil is to be turned out into the world at the age of 16 or whether he is to proceed to the university.
Since, really, Rhetoric should be taken at about 14, the first category of pupil should study Grammar from about 9 to 11, and Dialectic from 12 to 14; his last two school years would then be devoted to Rhetoric, which, in this case, would be of a fairly specialized and vocational kind, suiting him to enter immediately upon some practical career.
A pupil of the second category would finish his Dialectical course in his preparatory school, and take Rhetoric during his first two years at his public school. At 16, he would be ready to start upon those “subjects” which are proposed for his later study at the university: and this part of his education will correspond to the mediaeval Quadrivium.
What this amounts to is that the ordinary pupil, whose formal education ends at 16, will take the Trivium only; whereas scholars will take both the Trivium and the Quadrivium.
Source: Dorothy L. Sayers, “The Lost Tools of Learning,” Lecture. Oxford, 1947.
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