Integration of Subjects
One of the many distinctions of Classical Christian education is that it integrates subjects and teaches them as a whole. This is important as all truth is God’s truth. When subjects, like mathematics, literature, or science, are taught for an hour, they become isolated and independent from each other, making it difficult for students to see the inter-relatedness and connections with each other. This is seen when a literature instructor teaches American literature while a history teacher focuses on medieval history and the geography instructor teaches Asian geography. Information becomes fragmented and disjointed in students’ minds, making it much more difficult for students to synthesize information.
More importantly, students struggle to see the subjects as part of God’s objective truth and from a Christian perspective, which creates issues in their Christian walk in future years. For instance, mathematics classes often separate knowledge of the natural world from God’s truth, placing these two at odds with one another. In fact, however, mathematics is the beautiful expression of God’s order.
Covenant aligns subjects both horizontally among subjects and vertically with God and the Bible. For instance, in 8th grade, students take Ancient History which is aligned with Ancient Literature and Old Testament. Thus, as students discuss the flood and Noah’s ark in the Bible, they also view the flood myths of the time in Ancient Literature and archaeological evidence for the floods in Ancient History. This synergistic approach to the Humanities subjects results in a powerfully unified technique that demonstrates the interrelated nature of the material and points students to God. In his Introduction to Classical Education, Dr. Christopher Perrin aptly noted: “Knowledge is more like a web than a chest of drawers; there are no subjects that are unrelated to others. Literature, history and theology for example are quite intertwined. Anything from the past (in any subject) can be history; anything committed to creative or excellent writing can be literature; and any subject considered in relation to God and biblical teaching can be theology. Until the 19th century, educators understood and taught knowledge as a web, rather than as separate departments.”