Private Christian Education Is Changing for the Better

by admin on June 29, 2016

in Tyler Businesses

Over the last forty years or so, private and religious education has undergone a huge shift. In the nineteen seventies a bomb went off in the academic world. It was called Accelerated Christian Education or ACE. At the time it was seen as a very viable option, particularly for evangelical churches and families looking for a faith based option to the growing secularization taking place in American public schools. The new curriculum placed mainstream evangelical faith formation and self- guided (work at your own pace), studies as the guiding principle of the new methodology.

And while the easy out of the box portability of the program (and others like it) made it hugely popular in the seventies and eighties, the abandonment of traditional classroom learning in favor of rote memorization, came at the price of true academics. The teacher was relegated to the role of supervisor, with little or no role in mentoring his or her students. And the students spend their time learning to confine themselves to a cubical plodding through a work book, filling in blanks, with no real stimulus for critical thinking.

In more recent years however, we’ve seen a counter wave hit. It’s called classical education, (and I would include Principle Approach as part of it). The new thinking on religious education is not actually anything like new… which is kind of the point. Religious schools of all theological strips are coming the realization that character and academics must work together. It’s important that our students know how to reason critically. They need the benefits of the lessons one learns from Plato, St. Paul, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Foxe, William Shakespeare; in short they need an historical, classical and literary education. Memorization of facts, theorems, systems or even scripture is simply not enough by itself. Nor is individualized leaning. Students need the community and mentorship that a traditional religious classroom can provide.

Christian Heritage school in Tyler is providing all of these things to its students, and it has been for more than thirty years. The school was classical and traditional before those attributes had found their way back into the mainstream American Christian thinking. The school provides educator centered classrooms a good teacher to student ratio and emphasizes academic excellence as well as Christian character. Classical Principle Approach education is not simply a trendy form of education. It’s a time tested method that will never disappear entirely. For more information on Christian Heritage School in Tyler, visit the school’s website at www.chstyler.org .

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