This essay seeks to analyze and outline the crucial elements of Christian philosophy of education. It also seeks to study what makes an excellent Christian tutor, and why it is important to study Christian Philosophy of Education.
Elements of Christian Philosophy of Education
Christian philosophy of education is a God-centered education pattern that uses a number of specific processes and structures. Christian philosophy of education is guided by the Bible, which provides generalization and theoretical guidance to the students and to the Christians at large. Therefore, it is important to have a sound Christian education in order to distinctively develop a Christian philosophy. This simply means that the Bible is the basis, in which the theory and practice is integrated. The first step to full understanding of Christian philosophy is to have a clear perception and understanding of the truth. The big question is, “What is the truth?’’ According to Christian philosophy, the truth is knowledge, which was received from God. This means that God himself is truth, and can choose whether to reveal Himself through revelations, or not.
Christian philosophy of education is built on the fact that God is truth, and that the key factor is the word of God, which guides and helps everyone to understand the knowledge. In this regard, the word of God should be the foundation of the Christian philosophy of education at all levels. It is important to note that Christian philosophy of education helps to coordinate many different spheres of life, it also systematically relates knowledge to the source, which is the Bible; it prepositions and examines the concepts and methods, which are used in various groups of discipline.
What are the Implications of Christian Philosophy of Education?
There are very many implications that arise from having a Christian based philosophy of education. This is because this is simply a process, in which the truth is communicated an implemented during the classroom activity. However, one of the implications or dangers is the absence of a firm Biblical base. In the recent times, there are many different evangelical teachings that lack power, life-orientation, and reality in the Christian context. These teachings often borrow manmade teaching systems, and throw away, or simply ignore the God’s teachings and the truth of the Bible. In this case, the unique revelation of God is replaced by secular attributes and aspects. Most secular educators are completely changing the unique and original context of the Christian philosophy of education. The original purpose of the Christian philosophy of education was to use Christian education methods for the purpose of arranging and normalizing the relationship between a Christian and him/herself, his/her surroundings, and God.
Role of an Educator in Christian Philosophy of Education
An educator is a guide that takes the students on a journey to the world of learning experience. However, the educator must not be manipulative but should be a learning facilitator. The educator must, at some point, experience the basics and the reality of the subject he/she is trying to teach. This will help to avoid the situation, when “a blind man is leading a blind man”. This simply means that the context of the Christian philosophy of education should be Biblically grounded and Christ centered. Additionally, the educator should be a teacher and a true believer. The educator must never compromise the value of the Christian philosophy of education context.
In the Bible, in the First Letter to Corinthians, Paul, an Apostle of God, teaches that an educator should be a Spirit-filled teacher. A Spirit-filled teacher should;
- Be open, and have courage to speak the truth
- Be conversant with the Bible, and the word of God.
- Be content, and look for excellence
- Love his/her work, and seek the common good of his students.
- Submit to the greater teacher, who is the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Roy Zack, a philosopher and a teacher, performed a study and carried a research out in a number of Christian schools. He suggests that Christian education must be seen as a supernatural task, which goes beyond mythologies, techniques, and programs. He also suggests that the teacher should use a blended approach in order to relate the student’s experiences to the God’s word. In this way, the student will be able to understand the content of the Christian philosophy of education and Christianity in general.
The Role of the Learner in Christian Philosophy of Education
In Christian philosophy of education, the learner has a very important role to play. This is because the learner represents the main challenge that may effect the Christian education. The learner needs to be self motivated in order to discover and correctly apply the provisions of this teachings in his/her life. The knowledge and personal experience of the learner is of a great value to the learning experience. LeBar, an educator and a philosopher, states that “a student’s growth is strong-minded not by what one hears but by what one does about what he/she hears. The vital thing is what is happening within the student. He may acknowledge or may decline anything what is going on outside. Education is what the student does and what the outward forces do to him. Teachers may affect the inner aspects only by appropriately using the outer aspects.
If the teacher works with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, he can use him to achieve the preferred inner change.”
What Makes an Excellent Christian Education?
It is important to note that an excellent Christian education is a successive completion of all Christian studies on a Christian foundation and Christian point of view. Christian philosophy of education includes subjects that range from history, science, literature to general knowledge of the Bible and biblical texts. Research findings have shown that the modern education system has attracted and caused moral deficiency, hostile spiritual atmospheres, and academic weakness in Christian education. This has led to many parents transferring their children from public schools to Christian private school. However, the big question is if these private schools are really doing their best to meet the desired goals. Some analysts have reacted to this situation, and attributed it to a form of replacement for the true and original biblical and Christian learning. This leaves many question unanswered but gives a guideline on what to accept and what to reject in this context.
Wisdom is of a great importance in the Christian philosophy of education. However, there is great danger in seeking wisdom and knowledge without knowing the author of this wisdom, God. Searching out for the standards and the purposes of God is a challenge that all Christians need to face. Many Christian schools have borrowed secular aspects and western traditions from other parts of the world. These traditions have been passed to the offspring. The result of such a scenario would greatly affect the content and original idea and aim of God in the Christian education. The teachers should go back to the standards and purposes of God in order to achieve a desirable result, and live a Christian life, like it was intended and commanded by God. The first thing that makes an excellent Christian education is wisdom. It is important to note that true wisdom is the wisdom that comes from God.
Can Education and Life be Unified?
Time after time, Christian philosophy of education has suffered many setbacks. In the recent days, everything seems to repeat at once. It seems like a storm has blown over, and has overtaken the original purpose, breaking the very depth of the ice. The question is “when the waters subside, will there be any foundation of the Christian philosophy left?” The 16th century was also an age of such storm for the Christianity philosophy. During this period, it was decided that Scotland should be a Presbyterian country, while Germany chose to be a Lutheran nation. This storm was caused by a mass murder of 75,000 Calvinists. This century saw the emergence of the modern scientific mind.
Only one philosophy can unify life and education. This philosophy is Christian stand and theism. This philosophy emphasizes the sovereignty of God. This simply means that science and man should be given their proper places. The places should not, however, be too high or too low. This is the only way to make Christian education successful. This is because morals, political, social, and economical aspects will only break down religion, and will destroy civilization. Many religious leaders suggest that economic collapses, wars, and pestilence are punishments and payments for the great crime of forgetting who God really is.
According to this point of view, Christians should appreciate the biblical knowledge, and recognize God as the Supreme Being. The perennial questions, which came up from the history of philosophy, should guide Christians to face hostile ideas and environments where there is no belief in God. Many philosophical perspectives have been challenged by Christian philosophers with the evidence of their testimonies. The logic behind this is to provide an analytical tool to integrate Christian intellectual disciplines. This philosophy should focus on the engagement and construction of key elements in the classroom and in the Christian school. The professor should then lead and allow a dialogue between the tutor and the students, in order to clarify question, encourage reasoning from the students, and bring out intellectual virtues in the students’ minds. According to Mortimer Adler’s article “How to speak, how to listen”, it is important to speak less so that the students may grab something of what has been spoken. The students should be allowed to write convincingly, and express their ideas freely and clearly. In this way, education and life can be unified.
Philosophy of Curriculum
Education and academics is a part of curriculum, in which the teachers and the parents work together to ensure the emotional growth and social growth of the student. Working together and working in harmony create a community. The community helps to balance responsibilities and individual needs. In this way, students are able to discover their interests and strengths. Working in harmony also helps to celebrate diversity of thoughts. This simply means that all students are included in the community, regardless of their learning styles, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religion, etc. The philosophy of curriculum enhances and creates a relaxed and inspiring learning experience. In this regard, the philosophy of curriculum uses a life-oriented approach to educate and teach in accordance to Christian philosophy of education.
This essay has discussed in what way Christian philosophy of education is an import part of life of every Christian. Christian families should be encouraged to undertake and understand this importance. The essay has also looked into different attributes, and aspects of the Christian education and the roles played by different parties of the educational process.