The How's and Why's of Teaching

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According to Merriam-Webster, truth is sincerity in action, character, and utterance. In scriptures its used in various ways; truth is that which is opposed to falsehood, to be faithful, and is used to refer to Jesus Christ (Easton, 1897). Truth is something we can know because it is authentic. Genesis 1:2 tells of the earth before it was formed and that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (KJV). God was here before human beings, truth exists independently of human thought, we just merely discover truth. Truth is not subjective in any way, it is absolute even in the face of changing opinions about it.

Aristotle, took Plato’s theory on absolutes and expounded on it by further defining them with particulars. For example, it is absolutely true that a female is determined to be so by the genetic code XX, the particulars from female to female such as hair color, height, and skin color are different. Do the particulars change the absolute? Not at all, a females particulars only further define her absolute.

The importance in understanding what a person believes about truth is that it is the underlying thought process that affects what they say, how they act, and what they believe. In knowing what another person believes as truth, helps you to understand what is being communicated by them as well as helping you communicate to them in a way that is clear and concise. It can also play a role in aiding in preparing you to defend what you believe truth to be. The How’s and Why’s of Teaching

In determining what should be taught, one must examine what they believe about truth and then what they believe about education. In the tradition of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and John Amos Comenius, what should be taught is a strong curriculum based in foundational knowledge. All students must have the opportunity to master mathematics, phonics, for a firm foundation in reading and thus writing, and science (NIFR, 2009). Matthew 7: 24-29 tells about the wise and foolish builders, the wise man built his house on the rocks, a firm foundation, the foolish man built his house on the shifting sands, an unstable foundation (NIV). A solid understanding of math “promotes structure and shows students an aspect of the order of the real world” (Howe, 2007). According to the National Institute For Reading a solid foundation in phonics greatly improves reading comprehension and is effective for children of all social and economic backgrounds. A firm understanding of science helps students develop a view of the world in which they live in. This view aids in the confirmation that there is order in the world and a designer, through this understanding students can come to a deeper appreciation of their maker.

A delicate balance must be met when teaching. A teacher should make it a habit while planning lessons to determine what type of instruction would best meet the objectives of said lesson. The use of the teacher-centered and learner-centered instruction methods discussed in Foundations of Christian School Education ensures that students get a well rounded understanding of the lesson material. The use of these models together allows the teacher to give direct instruction and guide students’ thinking and then break students into small groups to problem solve, to promote critical thinking skills, or use “turn to your neighbor” as described in Foundation of Christian School Education. Theories

Perennialism, the theory that believes all truth is universal and doesn’t change and that the aim of education should be the transmission of lasting ideas and values (Dunn, 2005). Essentialism, the theory that educations goal should be to promote character development and to teach the essential of academic knowledge (Dunn, 2005) . Mortimer Adler, was a proponent for this theory, he spoke out against the “track system” in schools and offered a one track system that educated all children according to the same standards (Dunn, 2005). He...
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