My Philosophy of Christian Education
Isaiah 54:13 “all your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Introduction:
Upon examination of Jesus’ life and ministry here on earth, I find it to be very fascinating that He successfully engaged in a plethora of professional fields; including that of teaching. In fact, He holds the title of Master Teacher. He was indeed a highly sought after teacher whose passionate and holistic approach to the vocation of education is the basis of my philosophy of Christian Education. The Ohio Department of Education, Center for the Teaching Profession describes the Master Teacher as one who, respects students’ diversity, is knowledgeable in the content area, practices effective assessment, effects plans, communicates with all stake holders, promotes a learner friendly environment and assumes responsibility for his/her professional growth and development. Christ the master teacher exhibited all these qualities and as a Christian Educator we all should too. It is on this foundation that I will seek to base my philosophy of Christian Education. According to Guillemin and Beck (1998), a Christian philosophy of education is, “one that is determined by scriptures and bordered by the parameters, educational purpose, educational provider, the learner, curriculum or content and teaching,” giving rise to four specific tenets. These four tenets to the Christian Education process consist of; the learner, the teacher, the curriculum and the teaching process. Therefore in formulating my Philosophy of Christian Education, I will use scriptural references to support the four aforementioned tenets of the Christian Education process. The Body
The Learner in the Christian Education process may either be a child in the home, a student in the formal classroom setting, or an adult member of a congregation. Sociologists have described the family as the first agent of socialization and therefore parents are the first educators. God has given parents the mandate to, “Train up the child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it,” (Proverbs 22:6) also in Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 the Lord gave clear directions regarding the commandments; “These commandments given today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road. When you lie down and when you get up.”(NIV) The word parents can be extended to include other persons in the society who are responsible for guiding and facilitating learning. This includes teachers and so we too have this mandate in relation to the child in the formal classroom. The Christian teacher even more so, as we must not only facilitate the contents of the secular curriculum but also be able to integrate Biblical principles effectively so children can come to realize their purpose in God’s wonderful plan. In college I was taught to do everything to avoid teaching ‘Christ’ in the classroom. This was frowned upon as being indoctrination and so, in the schools I have worked before, all that is done to fulfill the mandate is devotional exercise and even then, children are not mandated to attend. Some of these children demonstrated total lack of respect for persons in authority, lying, stealing, cheating among other despicable acts and when there is no intervention some ended up being juvenile delinquents. It was never intended by God for children to behave, nor end up in such a manner. After all, Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me: forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19: 14). Teaching about Christ definitely should be the job of all teachers. It is for each learner too, to study to show himself approved to God. (2 Timothy 2:15). As leaders we are commanded by God to feed his sheep. (John 21:17). The Great Commission is found in Mathew 28:19, Jesus gave His disciples direct instructions...
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