Importance of a Biblical Foundation in Education — Part 1
Students learn best by building upon a firm foundation of knowledge. With that in mind, the Christian teacher recognizes that elementary instruction should be easy to understand but complete in scope, so that the student will be successful in current students while being prepared to understand more difficult in the future. According to Van Brummelen (2002), every teacher has a worldview and promotes a value system in the classroom and through the curriculum choices (p. 20). This paper will explain the importance of a Biblical worldview, and discuss how the viewpoint affects all aspects of teaching and curriculum development.
Christian Philosophy and Worldview
While a teacher may choose from a number of philosophies when planning curriculum and teaching, this writer recognizes that the Biblical worldview is most in-line with how God would want a teacher to facilitate a class. Consider Proverbs 22:6 which states “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (KJV). While this verse most commonly relates to child rearing, the principle applies to the teacher who works with impressionable young minds. When a teacher trains students — through example and through educational principles — he is able to effectively train a child to grow up with conservative Christian values.
Ultimately, the teacher’s purpose should not only be to adequately teaching students the facts from a textbook, but to train students how to be productive members of society, and how to respond correctly to the world around them. This writer understands the importance of training students through example, and plans to not only tell and show students how to live a life worthy of being a disciple of Christ. As 2 Timothy 2:15 notes, “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” (KJV).
Personal Belief about the Truth of Society
The Bible explains that man is not inherently good, stating “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10, KJV). While this writer will not actively look for the bad in students, she recognizes that students have a natural tendency to not do work. With that in mind, this writer plans to implement structure to guide students in proper attitudes and actions. Just as God appreciates order, the educator Montessori recognizes that children prefer order to chaos and crave repetition and learning over fruitless play (Gutek, 1995, p. 271). While learning should be fun for students, integrating a structured philosophy into the classroom ensures that there is both time for learning and for fun, and that students will have a more enjoyable time in school.
Similarly, this writer adheres to the Biblical concept of pursuing joy rather than happiness. While Rebore (2001) suggests that student happiness depends upon educational achievement, this writer recognizes that students can and should enjoy the learning process (p. 130). This writer plans to teach students about the joy learning, which will serve them well over their lifetime. Ultimately the Christian teacher should be an example of how following Christ will result in joy, which lasts longer than happiness, which is subject to emotions. This writer plans to integrate varied teaching techniques and classroom activities to spark interest in subjects and deepen understanding.
Effective teachers recognize that since God is the creator and ultimate giver of knowledge, the teacher should consult the Bible when forming curriculum. Learning content and data is important, but teaching students how to live a life of character and the importance of a personal relationship with Christ is far more important. Ultimately, teaching philosophies and subject matter should reflect God’s never-wavering character, and follow His plans for instructing children.
This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Visit Importance of a Biblical Foundation in Education- Part 2 for the second installment.
Blackaby, H. & Blackaby, R. (2001). Spiritual leadership. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group.
Fleming, N. (2009). Teaching and learning styles: VARK strategies. The Digital Print and Copy Centre: New Zealand.
Gutek, Gerald L. (1995). A history of the western educational experience. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.
Rebore, R. (2001). The ethics of educational leadership. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall, Inc.
Van Brummelen, H. (2002). Steppingstones to curriculum. Colorado Springs, Co: Purposeful Design Publications.