The Principle Approach

Biblical-Classical Education, the Principle Approach, America’s historic method of Biblical reasoning, places the Truth of God’s Word at the heart of education in every subject.

From asserting God’s sovereignty in all of life, and acknowledging His Hand in historical and present human history, students reason by principles and leading ideas to internalize a Biblical worldview in producing their own learning.

Biblical-classical teaching and learning sees education differently. We see children differently as subjects of God’s Sovereignty in human life. Teaching and learning are formative of Biblical reasoning.  The formation of wisdom is the fruit of the knowledge of truth.  The Principle Approach provides the structure of truth that frames true education.  Wisdom is the key and the Principle Approach method forms wisdom as children learn how to think and reason from a Biblical perspective in order to redirect their humanness towards God.

Biblical-classical education first rests upon seeing children as God sees them—of such is the Kingdom of heaven, created for His purpose, endowed with His image, and formed by their parents’ diligent attention to their education.  The principle approach method builds two pillars upon the Christian view of the child:
1. the knowledge of providential history—God’s hand in human life and His sovereign will for their good—
2. the skill of reasoning from the bedrock principles of the natural and moral law that governs God’s universe and our individual lives

How does the Principle Approach see education?
True education is teaching and learning embedded in and flowing from the knowledge of God through His Word—as opposed to education based in man’s subjective and limited achievements.

Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

Webster’s’ 1828 Dictionary definition of education:

How does the Principle Approach see the child differently from the way the world sees the child?
By regarding every individual child as a unique creation of God, endowed with His image, destined for immortality, and created with a special purpose in God’s grand design revealed when the absolute truths of God’s word are imbedded into the heart, soul and mind—the Christian idea of the child.

  • The child is a unique creation of God (like no other one in the universe)
  • Bearing God’s image (for His purposes)
  • To be taught “when you rise up, walking in the way, lying down” (constantly, continually, unfailingly)
  • From His Word (the only absolute, complete, infallible, unchangeable law of the universe)
  • To enlighten the mind (bring light by which to see the world)
  • Correct the temper (deal with the sin nature)
  • Form the habits and manners (build the character)
  • Fit for usefulness (bring to the fullest expression of his/her value in Christ)

How do we impart knowledge as subject to God’s sovereignty in human life?
God as the sovereign of the universe, creator, the source of all good and all knowledge, superintends the actions of men and nations, and has from Creation, according o his counsel with the intention of restoring man to his original blessedness and liberty to walk with God through Jesus Christ.

By requiring that all teaching and learning in every subject and in all of life be placed within the context of God’s sovereignty and superintendence—the magnificent, all-inspiring context of the Hand of God in human history— true Providential history, that begins with creation and moves through the millennia seeing the key links in the Chain of Christianity up to this very day.

What are the bedrock principles?
The foundational, recurring principles that cement the Truths of God’s Word into the unmovable structure of God’s natural and moral law

Providing the path of reasoning for all of life and learning (as opposed to reasoning from man’s limited, subjective wisdom that is blown about by every wind of doctrine or cultural trend)

Requiring that education be based on the bedrock principles of Scripture as the foundation of every subject in the curriculum and the base of reason in all of life.

To learn more about The Noah Plan Curriculum, which uses the Principle Approach, click here.