The Common Topics as Threads that Hold the Verbal Arts Together

Andrew Smith February 15, 2017

Presented at:
2017 Winter Regional Conference


As a practical outworking of his plenary talk on the liberal arts, in this session, Andrew Smith will talk about how the verbal arts related to one another, particularly through the means by which we teach them. Since the verbal arts are skills, not terminating subjects, they are taught throughout the curriculum. But as we focus on teaching them singularly, how can we do so in a way that most naturally leads to teaching the others? For instance, in the 2nd grade, how can grammar be taught in such a way that naturally leads into and resonates with dialectic? Or, in 11th grade, how can rhetoric be taught in such a way that draws from the student's competency of grammar? The short answer is: The Common Topics. Join us for this session to learn why and how.


Grammar Rhetoric verbal arts


Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith came to Geneva in 2014 from Memphis, TN where he spent eleven years at Westminster Academy, serving as head of upper school, teaching in the disciplines of rhetoric, philosophy, and theology, and shaping the school’s rhetoric curriculum. He earned a BA in History from the University of Memphis, an MDiv from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. He currently serves as an Alcuin Fellow with the Society for Classical Learning. Andrew married Keri in 1997, and they have four children—Lizzie, Anna, Sara Kate, and Hugh. One of Andrew’s favorite pastimes is roasting and enjoying great coffee, and he is always happy to converse about that subject.

Other Contributions by Andrew Smith

The Liberal Arts as a Model, not a Modification

Article - 2017 Winter Regional Conference

The Teacher as Curriculum Part 1

Article - 2017 Winter Regional Conference

The Teacher as Curriculum Part 2

Article - 2017 Winter Regional Conference

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