Why Principles Matter When Teaching Social Sciences

by Mar 25, 2019

The Importance of Foundational Principles

To equip students to be informed citizens capable of recognizing good life choices and workable policy options it is essential they learn history, government, and economics with curriculum built on a solid foundation of universal principles. All people live by some code of conduct that approves certain things to be right and good and other things to be wrong and immoral. These choices by different textbook authors will lead to vastly different content. This becomes a huge problem when Christian schools and homeschools choose to use material originally developed to comply with government regulated standards. It also shows itself in the answers required in many AP tests.

1. One Triune God Who Created All Things is Our Reference Point

For us at Boundary Stone, our moral compass is rooted in the belief that the triune God of the Bible is the Creator of all things and that He providentially rules over His creation. This gives rise to several additional principles that make up the foundation for everything we do. Let’s consider these.

2. EVERY Human Being has Dignity and Inherent Value

First, the fact that all people bear the image of God means that everyone should be respected. The main way to respect others is to deal with everyone we meet in mutually beneficial ways. That is, we should voluntarily interact with other people and when we find opportunities to trade it should be in mutually beneficial ways that it advance humanity. In fact, we believe that God has commanded us to interact in this way as the primary means of pursuing His command that human beings should take dominion over the earth.

3. The Best Government is Limited Government

Second, we believe in limited government. If history teaches us anything, and if our own personal experience gives evidence of anything, it is that people have a tendency to abuse each other in numerous ways. Jealousy, envy, greed, hatred, and rage are as old as human history as best we can observe. Put simply, we are not what we should be. It is for this reason that some form of government is needed to punish the worst offenses of person against person in order to secure a modicum of civility in a fallen world. Namely, governments should be instituted among us to punish murderers, rapists, and thieves. However, government should not be thought of as an institution that has the ability to provide for our needs. It simply has no such power to do so and any thought that it can will soon lead it to be a source of murder, rape, and theft.

4. Free Enterprise Provides Better Innovation

Thirdly, making our way through this world is challenging for all of us. As such, we believe that people left free are best able to find new and better ways of dealing with the difficulties of life. Put simply, innovations and new products and services are best left to entrepreneurial human action.

5. Human Ills are Best Solved by Private Enterprise and Charity

In addition, it is a fact that there are many people among us who suffer from various ills that they cannot overcome by themselves. In such cases, people of good will rightly desire to help alleviate their pain as best we can. True charity in this regard is best defined as voluntary sacrifice motivated by love. That is, charity is a very personal act of choice and is never a matter of governmental action. Simply put, charity cannot be demanded or forced. Any attempts to do so will not promote charity. Instead, it will promote injustice and promote hatred rather than love.

6. Protection of Private Property is Essential to Productivity

Finally, mutually agreeable voluntary human action cannot be maintained without respect for and protection of private property. We inhabit a physical world and were given a task by our Creator to take dominion of it and to rule over it. In the process of doing so, it is our nature to create property. From raising herds of livestock to growing crops or producing any number of goods and services to benefit other people, we create property. As such, we ought to respect the property that other people create and if we wish to acquire something that is possessed by someone else, we can enter into a mutually agreeable trade for it. Therefore, our Creator has tasked us with the duty to be productive as best we can and to use the rewards of that activity to engage other people. In doing so, we promote the welfare of society.

In all of our educational materials, we adhere to these principles. They are the foundation on which our books, videos, and articles are based. They provide a framework within which we explore history, economics, and other social studies. Hence, they provide for our worldview.

Boundary Stone Curriculum

Boundary Stone produces quality high school social science curriculum written by the late historian Dr. Clarence B. Carson and economist Dr. Paul A. Cleveland. Dr. Carson’s textbooks have been used by thousands of homeschools and Christian schools over the years. We are committed to keeping this unparalleled material available for the next generation. Dr. Cleveland also continues to post articles and videos related to economic issues of the day that can be used to supplement courses.

These include:

Textbooks

Online Resources

  • Self-paced government and economics courses to accompany our textbook with daily assignments and videos from many great sources
  • Teacher’s guide for each textbook with study guide answers and additional teacher resources
  • Budgeting Mini-course for economics and Policy Mini-course for government
  • Articles and videos

Paul Cleveland

Boundary Stone was started by Dr. Paul Cleveland. Working as a professor for over 35 years has allowed him to study and think deeply about issues of political economy. He has discovered ways to communicate these sometimes illusive concepts to today's students, often through story telling, which makes understanding these principles more accessible to all of us.

Do you need tools for educating students in government or economics?

Our curriculum for government and economics gives you all you need to teach a semester of each. Curriculum bundle options are available at discounted rates. See the difference natural law foundations make.

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Why the Name Boundary Stone?

Why the Name Boundary Stone?

Boundary stones have long been used to mark property lines. The biblical curse in Deuteronomy 27:17 NIV, Cursed is the man who moves their neighbor’s boundary stone,” was one among many that Israel’s priests called out when the people were entering the promised land in the Old Testament.

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