Education plays a key role in the development of life today. With the changing times and emerging social, economic and spiritual challenges in the world, educators must be able to build students’ abilities. Education must remain a long-term process to the student, something that can be encouraged by the teachers. The secular worldview of education has failed to adequately address the current challenges. Therefore, Christian worldview on education remains the only way towards an educational philosophy that embraces love and respect in order to develop the unique intelligence of each student.
Education remains an important part of human existence because it ensures the passage of values and knowledge from one generation to another. On the same note, teaching is an integral activity that ensures the success of education. Where there is a teacher, the learner should also be present and be willing to learn in order to ensure the transmission of knowledge and values. Since education is an acceptable global concept, various philosophical approaches exist on how best to go about it (Gutek, 1995). However, it is important to note that the various philosophical views depend on the intended objectives. With the changing ways of life, there is need to adopt a philosophical view with the ability to take into account the changes while developing the values and knowledge in the students. It seems that the present world educational views do not achieve as seen in the ever deteriorating moral decadence in children. The Christian philosophical view comes out as the best way in order to achieve the best in the current and future generations. Therefore, a successful education should be able to meet the educational objectives through spreading love and respect to all.
Worldview and Philosophy of Life
Education system has been secularized in so many ways, making it less effective to meeting the objectives and goals. This comes from the fact that younger people are more involved in crime and drug abuse in spite of an elaborate system in place. Worldview seeks to separate religion from education, thus failing to adopt a direction that can help spread the love of Christ to the students. With a society that increasingly runs away from religion, the number of single-parented children rise, divorce rates are the highest and children cherish models and movie stars as their role models (Gutek, 1995). In the end, the current secular system fails to achieve the intended objectives because students do not get the love and direction absent out the education sector. The secular worldview contrasts that of the biblical worldview and the former limits the student’s ability to bring out the best that is them.
According to Carr (2003), there exist a strong correlation between spirituality and academics and the fusion of the two leads positive outcomes. A purely secular system seeks to separate academic from spirituality, thus leading to a system devoid of the basic moral and spiritual attributes that help develop students to bring out their best (Carr, 2003). In the long run, we have a system with a vacuum that cannot help achieve the goals and objectives. The technical fusion of spirituality and academics lacks in the current educational worldview.
Gospel is the pillar behind the Christian worldview and it is based on spreading love to everyone (Carr, 2003). Therefore, any Christian has the responsibility of adopting love and respect in all undertakings. As a Christian educator, it is my responsibility to ensure that my interactions to students, including activities are accompanied with love and respect in order to build students towards achieving their goals. Such a worldview lacks in the secular education philosophy because basic virtues like love and respect are not adequately defined. In the Christian worldview, every Christian has the responsibility to show love and respect to other persons, irrespective of who they are, just like Jesus Christ did for us.
Various theories exist on what makes things real and what gives meaning to life. This is where we find out the contrasting views of realists and idealists. While realists believe that the truth can only be known and seen from what happens in the natural world, idealist adopt the view that the truth is what exists in the mind and not in the natural world. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). This answer is given in the book of John when Jesus Christ himself says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6, NIV). For this reason, I believe that the true definition of the truth can only come from the divine revelation and what can be seen in the doings of God Almighty.
Human history is full of divine revelation, especially in the Bible. God showed Himself in so many ways to the people of the ancient like Abraham to prove Himself. To Moses, He appeared in many occasions as recorded in the book of Exodus. On the same note, God’s spoke to some people like Samuel as a young boy while sleeping at the temple. In other instances, God revealed He through angelic beings like was the case when angel Gabriel appeared to both Mary and Joseph before Jesus Christ was born. Most importantly is the revelation of God through Christ as noted by John that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:1,14a, NIV). The truth can only come from God Himself, something that man can access adopt from the scriptures because “All Scripture is God breathed…” (2 Timothy 3:16a, NIV).
In the Christian worldview, creation is an important proof to the truth to man. Paul writes to the Romans: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen. . .” (1:20, NIV). Nevertheless, as much Christians entirely depends on the truth in the bible, they must not ignore some of the natural laws not stated in the bible because they constitute part of the reality. For instance, the law of gravity Charles Darwin is not found in the scriptures; however, it is an essential reality of the truth. On the other hand, there is need to separate theories from natural law, for example, Darwin’s theory of evolution and survival for the fittest is not founded on the truth. Therefore, nature and creation will only show us the truth when it is in line with the divine revelation noted above.
A Christian educator is expected to develop and teach behaviors that try to direct others towards the loving savior, Jesus Christ. This means that there is a way all Christians are expected to behave and conduct them, something lacking in the secular system of life. In the secular worldview, people live liberally, with no concern towards morality; in other words, all things are permissible. One of the basic Christian virtues entail showing the “fruits of the spirit” that include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, NIV). These are the virtues that bring the best of somebody because they seek to develop people to live according to the purpose. On the other hand, Christians are discouraged from adopting behaviors that lead to sinful nature like sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, and envy, drunkenness and orgies” (Galatians 5:19-21a, NIV). A look at these sinful natures shows the reason for lack of effective education system today because the current system is based on the secular worldview. Therefore, the world suffers from the vices that come from lack of an education system that has clear objectives on the virtues that direct people towards the love and respect towards each other.
The scriptural creation story talks of God creating everything, including man, calling them good. It is logical to note that God referred to the functionality and the beauty of his creation with the word ‘good’. According to this fact, it is imperative to note that man has been created with the beauty and anything that seeks to destroy that beauty works against God’s principle of creation. As much as the scripture does not say much on the beauty, it is proper to note that everything that a man does should work towards preserving the beauty and the glory of God. An education system should be very absolute on the approach towards glorifying God and preserving the beauty in love.
Philosophy of Schools and Learning
Education plays major role into developing the right attitude and virtues in order to bring out the best in a student to also influence others in service. In the current system where chaos and confusion surround us, students require a learning environment that gives direction. Therefore, a school should provide an environment that gives assurance of success to students though learning that allows them to express themselves as they acquire new ideas without intimidation. On the same note, a student should come to understand the need to have a clear direction on the expectations as well as appreciating correction at the same time during learning process.
According to Pearcey (2005), Henry Pestalozzi develops one of the best methods within an education system where a teacher is required to demand excellence from the students. A caring teacher has the ability to bring out the best outcome from the students. In such a system, the teacher makes students aware of the tangible outcome as a sign of love and they are encouraged to produce their best in everything they do. However, the educator puts into consideration that the best for each student is different. What this theory finds out is that students tend to perform better when the educator demand the best from them. When it comes to correction, there is need for an educator to have a clear role in terms of guidance and pointing out some of the things that are not right. For instance, scriptures advocate for parents and guardians to be in charge in giving guidance, something that helps children have ownership of educational activities.
Pearcey (2005) argues that the best philosophy should be based on three events and how human respond to the same. These are creation, fall and redemption. According to him, the first step towards a workable philosophy should entail asking how an idea was created and its nature. The second step seeks to come up to answer how the concept is affected by the fall of man. For instance, the current secular system/worldview has led to the failure of other educational policies. The last stage entails seeking a solution towards rectifying the problem in light with God’s original intention at creation. Therefore, Pearcey (2005) believes that such events are the basic tenets towards developing a functional education system.
The Purpose Driven Life by Warren (2002) brings out the theory that each person has been created to fulfill up to five purposes. He argues that one thing that joins all the purposes is the fact each person is created with a desire have a connection with the creator. In chapter one of his book, Warren notes that the only way a person can discover purpose and identity is by having a relationship with Jesus Christ. This also interconnects with Percey’s theory of first looking at the intended reason of creation. Therefore, the best educational philosophy should ensure that learners are brought to a point where they discover who they are and why they were created. We must admit that that man is fallen and that sin reigns, the only remedy coming from a relationship with Jesus who redeems from sin. This forms the first purpose of education that seeks to prepare students to realize how man is fallen from God’s intended plan.
Warren (2002) notes that another purposes in life comes from the fact God created everyone with specific skills and abilities to help fulfill the purpose. This means that God, at creation gave each one of us specific abilities that, when discovered and put into action, can help fulfill God’s purpose in life. For this reason, it is imperative that an effective educational philosophy work towards helping students discover their God-given abilities and talents that help them fulfil their life purpose (Warren, 2002). The current secular educational philosophical cannot compare with such biblical philosophy that seeks to make everyone discover who they are and their purpose with respect to the creator of heavens and earth. Therefore, with the correct professional ethics, integration of the biblical concept into the educational policy is the best method towards training students to learn and develop skills as per God-given abilities (Warren, 2002).
In the education system, remains the basic force success, due to the unique responsibility of each. Gardner’s theory explains that student individuality plays a role in making education successful. He comes out with a less traditional of defining intelligence; as not comprising an effort by one student to comprehend certain concepts. According to him, intelligence comes when a student is able to come up with a solution to a problem that cuts across many cultures. This concept of multiple intelligence shows that each student will have own pace and ability to comprehend concepts. Therefore, each student must be valued according to the individual intelligence shown.
Educational methods should be different because each student exhibit different intelligences. Such diversity on the practice towards should be determined by the diversity shown by students as shown by the brain-based research on learning. For instance, the brain-based technology has come with the following general concepts: active students learn faster and better than that are less active, learning a concept connected to some prior knowledge help students in developing long-term goals, assessing information helps students commit themselves towards long term learning and that each student learns differently from the other due to the differences and uniqueness in their brains (Chapongian, 2007).
An educator must work towards instilling eternal values on the lives of all students. In order to achieve this, an educator has the responsibility of proving that the challenge given to the student has a real application in life (Schultz, 1998). The Christian philosophy should be able to integrate the curriculum in order to support the eternal values that help in life. Lack of eternal values has led to the lack of clear direction of the current system. Teaching different courses with the biblical worldview helps in pointing out the benefit of sharing values with other people (Schultz, 1998), something I seek to achieve in the practice. On the same note, cooperative learning process is a method that helps students value and encourage each other. Incidentally, students who adopt such learning method will likely adopt the same in other areas of life, in the future. People who adopt cooperative learning and working concept also sees the value in other people, creating an environment of spreading love and truth.
The teacher’s major role is to facilitate in the learning process. By doing this, the teacher will be able to facilitate participation of the student on an activity in order to relate and apply the concept. On the same note, the facilitator helps the student relate what has already been learnt with concepts in other areas of study. A teacher who facilitates does a proper prior research on other disciplines in order to come up with cohesive information for the leaners. On the same note, the student should use the classroom in order to advance in areas of learning, as per the curriculum. A student is expected to go beyond what the facilitator-teacher offers in classroom in order to research more on the subject in order to come up with correlation of the subject with other disciplines (Gutek, 1995). It is only out of the internal motivation that a student can develop the quest for more knowledge acquisition.
Quick (1890) advances Pestalozzi’s teaching philosophy that adopts love in the learning process. According to Pestalozzi, an educator should first connect with the heart before with the mind. It is easier to work with students with whom a teacher has already connected with their hearts before the mind. In essence, Pestalozzi notes that engaging student’ minds without their hearts may lead to devious people who will be difficult to correct in the future (Quick, 1890). Such a concept can only arise by adopting a Christian worldview because it is based on the love, respect and care for each other.
An educator who cares less for students may not bother to go an extra length into researching and presenting a more comprehensive learning that entails the interdisciplinary connections. Such a teacher may easily dismiss some of the questions that may be raised by students during the learning process. Therefore, there is need for a deeper classroom relationship that encourages participation of all parties. In the process of learning, the cooperative model helps in encouraging others into understanding concepts and applying them appropriately.
Teachers have no option but to learn how to handle the diversity present in the current school system. There is likeliness of a teacher handling diverse student body, something that may affect the learning process. As stated above, adoption of the biblical worldview encourages teachers and other stakeholders to bring the best out of them through love and respect. With the knowledge that everyone is a creation from God, there is no problem of working with diverse body of students but to understand and embrace, while showing the love of Jesus Christ.
Outreach schools and covenant schools are the main categories of the evangelical schools that adopt the biblical educational philosophy. Out of the two, it is the outreach schools that work with the objective of bringing students and families back to Christ. These schools are diverse and offer no barriers to learning upon admission. They are less expensive as compared to the covenant schools and also diverse socioeconomic platform for students. Such diversity requires that all teachers have the ability to handle diverse group of students. Otherwise, it will be difficult to achieve the educational objectives (Van Brummelen, 2009). On the other hand, covenant schools require that at least one of the parents to a student profess Christ before admission. This requirement makes these schools lack the socio-ethnic and worldview diversities among the students. Nevertheless, the common ideology before admission is a strength to these schools (Van Brummelen, 2009).
Love remains a great pillar of the gospel because it advocates brings hope for everyone that accepts it. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a Christian teacher-facilitator to inculcate love into all aspects of the curriculum. Love helps in appreciating each student’s God-given abilities and developing them through different activities. Students should understand and embrace the same love for what they are doing. At the same time, they are to use embrace cooperative learning process that helps them understand and help each other. Such attitude will also help in applying the learnt skills in other areas of life.
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Pearcey, N. (2005). Total Truth. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books.
Quick, R. H. (1890). Essays on Educational Reformers. New York, NY: Appleton.
The Holy Bible (NIV). (1983). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Van Brummelen, H. (2009). Walking With God in the Classroom: Christian Approaches to
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Warren, R. (2002). The Purpose Driven Life. Grand Rapids, MI: