Aquinas, our Crest and our Motto

Omnes homines natura scire desiderant. All men by nature, desire to learn.

With this sentence begins the Metaphysics of Aristotle, and expresses the innate disposition in every person for knowing the truth. Aristotle also noted that “the wise man knows proper order.” So with the natural desire to learn comes the need for a proper method to fulfill this goal. When this is achieved, the desire to learn grows and the student can discover the connection between what they have learned and their own life. A teacher is to help students excel and succeed, to acquire knowledge something to which they are naturally inclined. But the central focus of this task, by means of both discipline and motivation, are the students themself. The mere repetition of learning leads to a servile intellectual attitude; a mere free creativity that ignores the findings of the past, will hardly leads to success. Maintaining interest in the truth, while avoiding idle curiosity is a priority for our school. In response, the curriculum focuses on the tradition of the Church, which never understood the acquisition of knowledge as a burden, but as a task that leads us to live more fully as men and women.

School Crest: our crest is based on a medieval illustration, collected from the Hortus Deliciarum (The Garden of Delights), a twelfth-century manuscript from the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace. It represents Philosophy, in the center, as reigning over the seven liberal arts.

escudos

Liberal Arts, which organized the “trivium” (grammar, dialectic and rhetoric) and “quadrivium” (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music). With trivium, the objective was for students to learn to think. Through this structure the Latin language was taught for worship, constructing logical arguments and, finally, to learn to express oneself in a precise and rigorous manner. When the method of reasoning was well understood, students went on to study what we now call mathematical and physical sciences. Language instruction was accompanied by a reading of short stories, historical accounts, natural science and other classes. This learning method, which has survived for centuries in Western education, not only taught students to speak properly, but it provided the necessary tools for further learning, as well as to facilitate understanding and reasoning. This also permitted that different subjects would not be seen as separate compartments, but rather as complimentary and part of the same reality. As a result, for a medieval scholar, any material proved interesting. For some years, while adapting to modern disciplines, the Liberal Arts teaching philosophy has earned a new success and respect. Aquinas American School is also going to use this philosophy and curriculum, which does not reduce the subjects to a mere accumulation of knowledge, but encourages a life long love for studying while using creative learning materials.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: our school is named after St. Thomas Aquinas, saint and model for the love of truth for students and teachers. He dedicated his life to prayer, study and teaching and has left for posterity a fundamental philosophical work of essential theology. It is for this teaching that the Catholic Church considers him Doctor of the Universal Church. St. Thomas Aquinas appreciated all reason and did not despise any of the contributions of classical antiquity from Muslim and Jewish thinkers: “what matters is the truth, not who says it.” For this reason he was interested in all disciplines. But above all, he showed that faith does not destroy reason, but on the contrary, elevates and perfects it, that’s why his is a mind enlightened by faith. According to St. Thomas, all serious and rigorous study leads to God and the knowledge of God helps approach any discipline more accurately and profoundly.