STEM, Theology, & Classical Education's Weird Uncles

Classical education has some weird uncles.

One of them is the idea that a classical school is where you learn Latin, wear uniforms, and are occasionally allowed to smile.

Another is that classical education is the method you choose if you want your kids to be overly sheltered and unable to ever get a job because of their liberal arts education.

Another is that classical education devalues STEM and mostly cares about old books written by dead white guys.

But accurately, classical education is the most historically successful educational methodology because of one key distinctive: it calls theology the queen of the sciences, the central hub from which all fields of study come.

Picture a wagon wheel. Each spoke of that wheel is a "science," or a primary field of study: Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy, Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. But at the center is the hub, Theology. Without Theology, no other fields of study can have any meaningful unity, structure, or validation. Theology is the Queen of the Sciences because she rules and establishes them in a way metaphorically similar to the way God rules and establishes our lives. It is a universal standard, a unifying principle. Without that center there is chaos.

Today, STEM is typically placed in the center of the wheel, replacing Theology as antiquated. But while STEM has great value, directly reflecting God's nature, it cannot answer ultimate questions such as why we are here, what are good and evil, why the problems of ancient man are still the problems of today, what principles validate controversial scientific or cultural advances, and what is the measure of all things -- God, mankind, or individual whim? 

In short, classical education sees the greatest possible value in all fields, because it best recognizes their proper places. It sees, with real practical wisdom, that even though dessert is delicious, you can't have it before you eat your dinner, or before you've given thanks for where it all came from.