Christian Philosophy of Education (Pt. 3)

Part 3 of 3

CHRISTIAN TEACHERS

In order to put this Christian philosophy of education to work in Christian schools it is imperative that the teachers have a genuinely Christian world view. There can be no truly Christian education without Christian teachers. The world view of the teacher will gradually condition the world view of the students whether it be humanistic or Christian.

The Christian world view must rest upon God’s written revelation but it also draws upon God’s revelation in nature. The present dilemma is that most teachers have been trained by schools with an educational philosophy which is secular, naturalistic, humanistic, not God-centered and with a religious idealization of democracy. Even teachers who have been trained in Christian colleges have been taught by professors who themselves were trained in secularism. Another factor militating against a Christian education is the fact that textbooks were written without relating all truth to God’s truth. Such teachers can build up a Christian world view by personal study of the Word of God, through the study of great Christian thinkers, and through faculty discussions of the Christian frame of reference. However, it is impossible without having the Bible at the very center of one’s life.

INTEGRATION

Teachers must see their subjects as included within the pattern of God’s truth. These subjects must be related to the Christian frame of reference, and if the teacher’s mind and personality is steeped in the Bible, the integration will be a natural communication of Christian allusions and attitudes. It will not be forced and unnatural.

Gabelein suggests that “the Christian teacher of mathematics must know:

  1. The common ground of unprovable knowledge shared by mathematics and Christianity.
  2. The presence of number and order throughout nature and art.
  3. The perfect congruity of the stars with mathematical calculation.

Young people can wonder at the wisdom of the God of mathematical truth as much as they marvel at the creator of the great mountains, restless oceans, star-decked heavens.”

It is easier to integrate literature and language arts with the Christian philosophy. Literature has to do with people and their interrelations and moral and spiritual choices. Biblical principles of right and wrong choices can very naturally be brought into the discussion of literature.

History always deals with interpretation of the facts. It is not a meaningless list of dates and events. They didn’t just happen. In the Christian frame of reference it is recognized that God intervenes in history to bring about His will. Life is not random chance. There is purpose in all of life. It is the Christian teacher’s obligation to tie all the fragments of knowledge into one meaningful whole by relating all to Jesus, the center of Christian education.

PROGRAM FOR ACTION

Teachers must be made to understand the Christian philosophy of education and their part in it. They must be encouraged to spend much time in Bible study so that they can see the relatedness of their subjects to God’s truth. In-service education courses must be provided to foster such thinking and understanding. Opportunities for new teachers to observe veteran teachers should be provided. Experiences should be shared among teachers as to how each has been able to integrate their subject into the whole pattern. It must never be taken for granted that Christian school teachers have a Christian world view. All care must be taken to foster the Christian philosophy and the practice of integrating all knowledge into the whole.

 

 

Last updated by Lisa Lanpher Jan 29, 2013.

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