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Brave, Bold, Biblical

A Principle Approach Pre-K - 6 Christian School in Chula Vista, CA
P.O. BOX 3901 Chula Vista, CA 91909

The principle approach

Teaching by principles

By just considering the name Principle Approach, you can deduce that it emphasizes learning the principles that guide each subject in the curriculum. Understanding the basic principles gives context and meaning to the facts of the subject. Both student and teacher approach a subject by first studying the Word of God and deducing the Biblical principles of the subject. The seven principles of history and government are fundamental.

The 4 R’s

The Principle Approach uses the 4-R method of study – research, reason, relate, and record: 1) Researching God’s Word to identify His principles on a topic. 2) Reasoning from cause to effect in applying the principles to the subject at hand. 3) Relating the applications to the student. 4) Recording the individual applications. Students are enabled to learn how to research, reason, relate and record each subject, producing their own record of learning in a notebook.

Development of Lifelong Learners

Because students “learn how to learn” through the methods of this approach, they become lifelong learners. Not dependent upon others for education, these students, if necessary could teach themselves whatever else they needed to know for the rest of their lives. This is why we say that the Principle Approach produces Christian Scholars.

By just considering the name Principle Approach, you can deduce that it emphasizes learning the principles that guide each subject in the curriculum. Understanding the basic principles gives context and meaning to the facts of the subject. Both student and teacher approach a subject by first studying the Word of God and deducing the Biblical principles of the subject. The seven principles of history and government are fundamental.

Use of Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

In the development of a Biblical worldview it is essential to define words Biblically and with precision. Webster’s masterful work is the tool to accomplish this.

Key Word Study

The word study is a tool for guiding the learner in the pathway of Biblical reasoning and governmental thinking. The word study starts with understanding a concept Biblically, placing the Bible at the heart of education. The Key Word Study trains in reflective thinking as students reason from God’s word and relate to their own life and their world.

Development of the master teacher

With the Principle Approach the distinctive role of the teacher as a master of his or her subject is emphasized. Because teachers must research (from the Bible, primary sources, and the best secondary sources), reason, relate and record, thereby producing their text on the subject, they become masters of the subject, and ultimately master teachers. Every teacher in a Principle Approach school is in a training program to become a master teacher.

Teacher as Living Curriculum and Discipler of Students

In Principle Approach schools, it is generally taught that teachers are to be living curriculum. This methodology holds the greatest potential for realizing this goal, for the teacher truly learns to rely less on published curriculum and more on what God has within them. Free from the distractions of published curriculum and un-Biblical methods the teacher can concentrate on the discipleship (today’s term is mentor) of each of his students.

Learning a philosophy of government

Teaching students the art of self-government is a major concern of every teacher in the Principle Approach classroom. Because of this emphasis on seeing government as first internal, and causative, students learn how to also structure the various civil governments Biblically. Another major emphasis in understanding government is grasping and applying the Biblical concept of jurisdiction. God, in His Word, has prescribed responsibilities and limits for each sphere of government.

 

Character Development

All programs (public schools, traditional Christian schools, private schools, and classical schools) have some emphasis on the development of the child’s character. Principle Approach schools have a greater emphasis on the development of Christian character through its methods and each subject in the curriculum. Character is seen as causative and the events of one’s life are seen as the result.
One of the challenges of all educators is the numbers of individual lives that we deal with. Most schools have capitulated and given in to the idea of “mass education.” The Principle Approach says absolutely not; we must educate according to the principle of individuality. Therefore education must be individually hand crafted for each student, regardless of the pressure to do otherwise.

Emphasis on written and oral communication

Principle Approach students are taught to communicate both in writing and orally at every grade level. For example, at StoneBridge School, a FACE Demonstration School, each senior writes a 25 page senior thesis and defends it orally.

Providential approach to history

The Principle Approach emphasizes God’s purposes in the lives of men and nations, and the fact that we should not just look at the events of history but, in addition, the underlying causes of these events. God is the ultimate director and disposer of all of the events of our lives. In addition, each event reveals man’s response to God, either obedience leading to blessing, or disobedience leading to negative consequences.

Reflective Methods of Testing

Essay, composition, short answer instead of true/false, fill in the blank, multiple choice, matching.

Biblical Curriculum

The Bible; primary sources and the best secondary sources; classics of literature.

Other methods include:

(1) Using T charts to compare and contrast; (2) Use of Key Charts (Key Individual, Key Document, Key Institution, Key Event); (3) Use of timelines.

Adopted from StoneBridge School, Chesapeake, VA.