The Rhetoric Stage: “The Poetic Age”
“The imagination-- usually dormant during the Pert age--will reawaken and prompt them to suspect the limitations of logic and reason. The doors of the storehouse of knowledge should now be thrown open for them to browse about as they will. The things once learned by rote will be seen in new contexts; the things once coldly analyzed can now be brought together to form a new synthesis; here and there, a sudden insight will bring about that most exciting of all discoveries: the realization that truism is true.” -Dorothy Sayers.
This stage is one of imagination and creativity. While students should certainly be held accountable for the grammar of their high school subjects and challenged to engage their learning in a rigorous dialectical fashion, they are hopefully given the opportunity to explore their interests creatively. Teachers should emphasize self-guided projects, public speaking, and presentations. Ideally, students are consistently called upon to demonstrate that they can create an argument and defend it persuasively and eloquently.