Common Core—a standardized national education mandate for American schools—is being rejected by state and local school districts across the nation. The centralized, bureaucratic and test-driven curriculum has been touted as the answer to failing public schools, but parents, teachers and school administrators question if it will really solve the myriad of problems found in America’s public schools.
Part I (which you can read here), examined the destructive consequences of adopting Common Core. Part II provides the answer to these questions and contrasts this secular education model with a Biblical pedagogy, the Principle Approach.
Noah Webster, in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, explains the purpose of education as “the bringing up of a child; instruction; formation of manners.” He goes on to say that the goal of an education should be “to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper and form the manners and habits of youth and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.” He reminds Christian parents and teachers of the immense responsibility to not neglect these duties.
Webster shows us that true goal of education is to shape the whole person, to inform the spiritual and moral being of the child as well as the intellect.
The Common Core on the other hand treats the minds of our children as empty vessels to be filled up with an assortment of facts and figures, but does not teach them to evaluate, judge and interpret these facts. The antidote to the Common Core is a method of education that will impart to them what they most need: wisdom.
When Webster wrote his Dictionary, the kind of education he describes was common in the United States. It abounded in Colonial America and formed our nation’s Founding Fathers. Today this form of education is still available to Christian parents, homeschoolers, and teachers today in the Principle Approach. Students using a Principle Approach curriculum such as The Noah Plan receive an education that trains them in the principles of Christian self-government, Constitutional liberty and American political union, which form the bedrock of our Republic as it was envisioned by the Founders. The Principle Approach produces the highest level of literacy and, as measured by The Nehemiah Institute’s PEERS test, shapes students in a Biblical worldview more effectively than any other form of education.
The Principle Approach is a method of education that recognizes the value of the individual, the importance of Christian character and respects that “conscience is the most scared property.” The Principle Approach inspires and elevates the individual learner not only to love God’s Word and obedience, but also to aspire to their highest calling.
We understand, today, that we must strive to give our children, tomorrow’s American leaders, a Biblical education, founded in a method that produced the highest level of literacy our nation has ever known, the fruit of which will be self-governing citizens that can protect our Biblical Constitutional Republic.
How does a Biblical, Principle Approach education differ from the secular precepts of Common Core? Let’s compare:
|Centralized: Bureaucratic, socialistic,
||Local: Hebrew model, family-centered with individuality of each student foremost
|Secular: Test-driven curriculum,
job skills and technical competence
||Biblical: Traditional subjects taught,
including the Bible, mathematics,
literature, Christian history, mastery
of subject matter emphasized,
with knowledge of Christ as the goal
Students taught rote memorization of facts
without reasoning from cause to effect
Students taught to analyze and
reason from cause to effect
|External: No moral absolutes,
does not shape character
||Internal: Touches the conscience,
|Divides: Fragmented worldview
||Unifies: Teaches holistic, relational
thinking between subjects
||Results: Independence and self-government
|Purpose of man: Lifelong obedient
service to the State
||Purpose of man: Lifelong obedient
service to God and to fulfill
God’s calling on the individual’s life
Dan Smithwick, founder of the Nehemiah Institute, diagnoses the problems with today's government education. Receive this audio CD and booklet with your gift today. Click here to learn more about how FACE is working for a cure for the Common Core.