Mission Statement  --  Philosophy  --  Pillars  --  Virtues  --  Educational Program

Paradigm High School is a Classical, Liberal Arts, Leadership School.

Both classical and liberal arts schools have been proven for centuries as the ideal method for teaching leadership education. In 1947, Dorothy Sayers, a pioneer in the return to classical education, observed, "although we often succeed in teaching our pupils 'subjects,' we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think." Beyond subject matter, classical education develops those skills that are essential in higher education and throughout life - independent scholarship, critical thinking, logical analysis, and a love for learning.

A “classical” school is based on the trivium, which refers to three educational phases. In grades K-6, students are excellent at assimilating and memorizing facts.  This is the period where the building blocks are formed on which other knowledge will be built.   In grades 7-8, students become more reasoning oriented. They are ready to be taught logic and critical thinking. In grades 9-12, students become independent thinkers and communicators.  To this end, classical education teaches them “rhetoric,” the art of speaking, communicating, and writing.  Paradigm will be focusing on the logic and rhetoric arms of the trivium.  Original Sources and Classics are the primary curricula. We will draw chiefly from the Encyclopedia Britannica  collection of “Great Books of the Western World” set, with the accompanying Syntopican, which cross references these works to the great ideas and principles of history.   

 A “liberal arts” school gives a depth and breadth of knowledge of history and societies.  Its purpose is not to train a person to perform a certain job well, rather to prepare him to be a well-rounded, well-educated leader in society.  It does this through fostering critical thinking skills through active student learning, Socratic discussion, mentoring and oral and written feedback.  As David Garvin observes in Education For Judgment: The Artistry of Discussion Leadership,  “Debates about educational reform tend to be impassioned, intense, and remarkably repetitious.  For decades, two models of education have coexisted in uneasy peace. . .these models might be called the teacher-centered and the active learning approaches.  . .The traditional model is based on the idea of teaching as telling.  The primary goal is the transfer of information from an expert (the teacher) to novices (the students),  . .but lectures are of only limited value if the goals of education go beyond information transfer.  The development of clinical judgment, the formation of critical skills, the shaping of artistic sensibility – such achievements are difficult to nurture through lectures.  Preparing students to think independently is an enormous challenge. . .Students must be actively involved in the learning process”

 Classical liberal arts education has traditionally been open only to the wealthy or/and academically gifted.  But this kind of challenging learning is needed for every child, regardless of career path, race, income or learning ability.  Paradigm High School believes that there is a core amount of knowledge and critical thinking skill that all people need in order to be contributing citizens of society.  Bill and Melinda Gates observed in High Schools of the New Millennium, “The high school of today is a mile wide and an inch deep.” They observe that today’s large comprehensive High School was developed to answer the requirement of the industrial age, i.e., to train skilled workers.  But as Thomas Jefferson said, “A nation that is highly trained, but poorly educated is ripe for slavery”.  A liberal arts education is that education that teaches the people to think, and empowers them to retain their freedom.


A digital copy of Paradigm's Charter can be obtained by emailing director@paradigmhigh.org - You may also obtain a printed copy by visiting our front office.