Classical Program Highlights Aspects of STEM Void in Secular Programs

Hillcrest Academy launched a Classical Christian program last year. They started in the junior high and have plans to expand the Classical program into a K-12 education continuum in the next five years. The results are already being felt inside classrooms, where students are engaging books many Hillcrest staffers didn't read until college. A promise of future preparation for Hillcrest’s award winning STEM program is an exciting by-product of the rigorous program.

Too often scientists today fail to correctly address moral and ethical questions in research and experiments. Answers to stem cell research linger in the shadows as scientists continue to march down a path that not only impacts the unborn but are directing further study into viability and utility of the myriad of life forms on planet earth.Where specialized study in the sciences continues to grow rapidly in other school settings, Hillcrest is seeing students gain greater context to the purpose of science and how it should be directed.

The specialized study of science and technology rarely addresses the question of “should”. What students in Hillcrest's Classical program continually face is how science reflects the image and character of God. In engaging classical literature, students interested in the sciences also wrestle with theology, philosophy, and ethics in a cross-platform classroom approach, not gauging students on answering a question correctly but instead on the flow and logic of their thoughts and opinions. These fundamental differences in classroom approach prepare students studying history, literature, and logic to a seamless path in their classrooms to develop logical thinking that expresses virtues to reflect the image of God communicated inside of Scripture.

There are common caricatures that exist for those interested in STEM for a career. Math majors aren't known to have skills in poetry. Inside the realm of engineers is a caricature of people deathly afraid of public speaking. These caricatures exist because in some form they have been true in a population. Those who engage in Classical education aren't void of fulfilling these prophecies about their profession, but Classical students build muscles inside of school that aren't narrow in focus towards their anticipated career. Well-rounded students emerge from Classical education. They hold skills that set them apart from those who were trained to see the world with a narrow focus as it only pertains to their career path. This is type of education tunnel vision is dangerous because it creates a tone deaf population that struggles to understand opposing perspectives and highlight beauty in the diversity of academic thought and relational importance of differences.

A significant byproduct of classical education is a full picture of human flourishing. Inside the classical model students are trained to engage the world as a beautiful place that creates awe. There is a respect that is honed through literature and the arts that affirms structure and purpose in creation. Students' hearts are formed to respect human dignity, avoiding powerful creations that can demean man and demean creation.