God is wise, social, linguistic, imaginative, rational, aesthetic, etc., and He has made one creature with similar attributes, albeit on a creaturely scale. Only such creatures have any chance of caring well for His creation. However, to have any chance of doing it well, we must cultivate those aspects of His image that are not fully cultivated at birth. We have the potential for wisdom at birth, but are not yet wise. We have the potential to learn language at birth, but do not yet know any languages, etc. A theistic understanding of eduation, therefore, promotes both furthering an understanding of the created order and developing the imago Dei. Some aspects of education involve knowledge or understanding aspects of the created order; other legitimate aspects of education develop aspects of the image of God in the learner, such as wisdom, rationality, language, creativity, imagination, etc., are cultivated the way an athlete cultivates the physical body (and education rightly includes such physical training).
For theists, then, all educational questions devolve back to these original considerations: How best to cultivate God’s image within and God’s garden without? What are those attributes of God that are distinctively human, and how do we cultivate those traits, or at least encourage their cultivation? How best do we discover and cultivate that which is life-sustaining or practical, on the one hand, and how best do we discover and cultivate that which is beautiful and lovely, on the other? Education, for us, is both objective and subjective; we learn about the created order, and we cultivate the Imago Dei within us. Education is both informative and transformative (what the Greeks called paideia).
Now where’s that Fall ’53 Sears Catalog?