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The Principle Approach®
The Principle Approach® to Learning America’s
Christian History, Education and Government


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Principle Approach has been called "reflective teaching and learning.” It is America’s historic method of Biblical reasoning which places the Truths (or principles) of God’s Word at the heart of education. Each subject is predicated upon God’s Biblical principles and students are taught to think and reason from principles and leading ideas using The Notebook Method to Research, Reason, Relate and Record.

The Principle Approach was rediscovered and restored to twentieth century American Christian education by the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) co-founder, Rosalie Slater, who identified seven principles of American Christian history and government in her foundational book, Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach.

People often ask, so what is the Principle Approach anyway? Why is it distinctive from other methods of education? What makes The Noah Plan curriculum so different from other Christian curricula?
 
The answers to these questions are found in the philosophy and method of Principle Approach education.

Two Models of Education:
The philosophy and methodology of the Principle Approach draws from two historic models of education to develop Christian character and Christian scholarship. One model is found in the Bible, the Hebraic method of the teacher as mentor. The other is from our distinct American Christian heritage in the early colonial period, the founding era that birthed our liberty.

The Cornerstone
The Principle Approach is a way of teaching and learning that puts the Word of God at the heart of every subject and teaches the student how to think and learn. The philosophy and method include these three distinct characteristics:
  • Teaches students to reason Biblically for themselves, producing excellent Christian scholarship
  • Nurtures individual self-government in each student, causing him to take responsibility for his own education and growth
  • Sets all learning in the context of God’s hand moving in providential history—His Story
  • Upholds the teacher and parent as a living textbook, the essential mentor, example and mediator of learning to the student

Join the Principle Approach Commonwealth CommUNITY to learn more about the Principle Approach, to get training for teaching and learning using the Approach, and to understand the principles of liberty and America's Christian history and form of government.


What is the Principle Approach philosophy?

The philosophy is based on America’s method of Biblical reasoning documented in The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government, Vol. I and studied in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach. There are seven basic principles drawn from the Bible that are fundamental to American liberty. These principles were studied and taught, respected, and nurtured in the children of the founding generation. The Principle Approach philosophy reveres these seven principles as the means to preserve America’s Christian birthright of liberty and form Christian character in children today. The examination of the seven principles in every subject and grade level sets this educational philosophy apart.


The Seven Principles
Each Principle Builds on the One Before


Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.
 2 Corinthians 3:17

God's Principle of Individuality
  • Doctrinal Application: Our God is Himself an Individual who made us in His image for a providential purpose.
  • Personal Application: My unique individuality has a purposeful destiny that can only be fulfilled through Christ's redemption.
The Principle of Christian Self-Government
  • Doctrinal Application: Knowing God through Christ teaches me to obey Him and enjoy liberty with law.
  • Personal Application: I am only properly self-governed when governed by Christ.
 
The Principle of Christian Character
  • Doctrinal Application: As my character is forged by Christ, I reach my fullest expression and enjoy harmony with others.
  • Personal Application: My character predicts the success and happiness of fulfilling my destiny.
Conscience is the Most Sacred Property
  • Doctrinal Application: Righteous law protects life and property; consent is the title to conscience.
  • Personal Application: My stewardship of property, both internal and external, has consequences.
The Christian Form of Our Government
  • Doctrinal Application: The form of government proven to best protect life and property is a Christian constitutional federal republic.
  • Personal Application: As I learn to think governmentally, I can balance the three powers of government to avert the tyranny of self in my personal conduct.
Planting the Seed of Local Self-Government
  • Doctrinal Application: Education is the cause to effect multi-generational maintenance of a Christian republic.
  • Personal Application: I continually sow seeds in my thought, speech and action; consequently I continually reap the results.
American Political Union
  • Doctrinal Application: The internal gives rise to the external.
  • Personal Application: Internal unity spawns external union.
Want more explanation of these seven vital principles? Click here to read Rosalie Slater's article "Seven Leading Ideas of America's Christian History and Government."
 

Why is the Principle Approach Unique?
The Principle Approach is a philosophy and method of education based upon Biblical reasoning and a Biblical, Christian worldview which requires considering and pondering the purpose of everything in God’s universe. Such reflection helps to prepare oneself for the challenge of self-discipline and self-education that is so uniquely a part of the Principle Approach. Read the article "Biblical Classical as a Model of Education: The Principle Approach" for more information.

Principle Approach Education:
  • Is characterized by the supremacy of the Bible and its teaching methodology in all instruction.
  • Applies Biblical principles in scholarship, reasoning, character formation, and developing Christian self-government.
  • Acknowledges America’s Christian history (Christ, His Story) and Biblical form of government, teaching them in every subject.
  • Uses Webster’s 1828 Dictionary to provide the vocabulary of liberty in learning that is consistent with Biblical truth.
  • Acknowledges parents as those mandated by God for the education of their children and helps form homes and schools into communities of learning.
  • Values the worth and dignity of each student and nurtures each one to achieve his fullest potential in Christ.
  • Cultivates the teacher to be the "living textbook.”
  • Employs a "Biblical-classical,” curriculum.
  • Acknowledges individual learning styles and aptitude.
  • Produces a Biblical Christian worldview.
  • Holds the student accountable for his learning.
  • Places the responsibility of the character and preservation of our Republic upon the parent and educator by demonstrating the consistent classroom government and self-government that respond to the admonition of America’s founding father, Samuel Adams, "to teach our little boys and girls the exalted virtues of the Christian system and the art of self-government.” (Boston, 1790)

What Distinguishes a Principle Approach School from Any Other?
  • Acknowledging America’s Christian history and Biblical form of government.
  • Teaching and learning America’s Christian history in every subject through its Biblical principles of government and education.
  • Practicing The Principle Approach as a way of life—of Biblical living—in scholarship, character formation and the art of self-government.
  • Training teachers whose lives and scholarship become a living textbook to their students, cultivating a love of learning, and inspiring leadership and service.
  • A curriculum of distinct subjects in classical learning unified by Biblical principles and a Providential history framework with a tutorial emphasis.
  • Students nurtured in God’s Word and the Christian idea of the child.
  • Families forming a community of learning in bringing their children to the fullest expression of their value in Christ.

FACE Resources for Implementing the Principle Approach in your school or homeschool:
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