Dialectic Stage

7th – 8th Grades

Dorothy Sayers called this the Pert Stage.

Students ARGUE to understand. 

  • Arguing is easy and pleasurable!
  • Students enjoy answering back.
  • Students like to point out that someone is wrong.
  • Students develop a capacity for abstract thought.
  • Imagination takes a back seat for a while. 

How do they do this? 

By means of DISCURSIVE REASONING (logic instead of intuition). 

  • Formal logic is the key to this stage.
  • Students need proper training of their reasoning skills.
  • They enjoy reading essays and arguments and taking sides.
  • Students thirst for WHY and HOW.
  • Students enjoy debates, plays, research, and questions (especially how and why)

What are the TOOLS for learning at this stage?


  • Fallacy detection 
  • Critical thinking
  • Analysis skills
  • Asking why
  • Looking for the interconnectedness of ideas

These students will be better prepared to refute fallacies, defend their beliefs, and analyze arguments for truth and logic.