The Philosophical Pillars of Great Hearts are aphorisms in support of the core and never-changing purpose of the organization: to cultivate the hearts and minds of students through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
We believe that the world is ordered and knowable and that the human intellect, while imperfect, can attain knowledge of reality through reason, hard work and a coherent program of study.
We believe that truth exists, and we must seek it relentlessly by disciplined study and good-willed conversation.
We do not dispute the usefulness of a liberal arts education, and we gladly prepare our students for college studies, but our main purpose is the formation of the heart and mind.
Liberal education consists of cognitive, emotional and moral education—thinking deeply, loving noble things and living well together. We believe, with Plato, that the highest goal of education is to become good, intellectually and morally.
The greatest number of our students benefit when the intellectual and moral bar is set high in the classroom. Lowering expectations is an act of misguided sympathy, not of love and mercy.
Great Hearts academies do not deploy a “character curriculum.” Students are formed by the culture of the school, implied and explicit, and each student’s choices to lead within it.
Teachers lead students through intelligence, charisma, humor, integrity and example—in short, through love and friendship, as modeled by Socrates.
At Great Hearts, we exist to cultivate the minds and hearts of students through the pursuit of Truth (Verum), Goodness (Pulchrum), and Beauty (Bonum). We believe human beings were created to discover Truth, to practice Goodness, and respond to Beauty. Everything that we do at Great Hearts brings us back to our mission of pursuing what is real, what is right, and what is lasting:
We believe that Truth exists, and we must seek it relentlessly by disciplined study and good-willed conversation.
Liberal education consists of cognitive, emotional, and moral education—thinking deeply, loving noble things, and living well together. We believe, with Plato, that the highest goal of education is to become good, intellectually, and morally.
We believe that beauty is not merely in the eye of the beholder, and that the classic forms and works of Western music, drama, and visual art should play the central role in forming aesthetic judgment.
Trivium is a Latin word that translates to “the place where three roads meet”. The trivium include the three phases of classical education: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. The classical method was born in ancient Greece and Rome, and by the 16th century, it was used throughout the Western world. This system educated most of America’s founding fathers as well as the world’s philosophers, scientists and leaders between the 10th and 19th centuries. In short, classical education has inspired advances in science, philosophy, art, and literature.
During the Grammar phase (elementary), children are naturally drawn to memorization. Classically educated children learn the factual foundation of each subject, instilled through songs, chants, and rhymes to help children enjoy the learning experience.
The Logic phase involves ordering facts into organized statements for deeper understanding. Scholars are taught to argue reasonably, civilly, and articulately. Practice in making written and oral arguments helps to further develop these skills.
In the Rhetoric phase , scholars learn the art of thinking and articulating concepts to others; to communicate well; to persuade. Scholars also become perceptive and discerning listeners.