In an earlier post, Can We Guarantee That Certain Things Will Happen? , I shared how every teacher, coach, administrator, etc. will integrate a worldview into every lesson, practice, and/or interaction he/she has with a student. One of the major challenges facing Christian educators today is the need to understand this truth and develop the ability to plan and implement biblical worldview integration into their teaching.
Neil Postman, in his book The End of Education, states that behind every educational effort is the pursuit of some god or gods. He clarifies what he means by the term ‘god’ by making this statement.
A god, in the sense I am using the word, is the name of a great narrative, one that has sufficient credibility, complexity, and symbolic power to enable one to organize one’s life around it.
He went on to say that “without a narrative, life has no meaning. Without meaning, learning has no purpose. Without purpose, schools are houses of detention, not attention.” Postman understood that education must take place in the context of a meta-narrative to have any value and meaning. This is another way of saying that some worldview must be integrated into the teaching/learning process for education to make sense.
What blew my mind about Postman’s writings on this subject was his understanding of the importance of worldview integration in education. Of course, Postman was coming at this from a secular point of view. Listen to how he described the type of worldview that must be pursued in all education.
Education must point to a story, not any kind of story but one that tells of origins, and envisions a future, a story that constructs ideals, provides rules of conduct, provides a source of authority, and, above all gives a sense of continuity and purpose.
What we must understand, as Christian educators, is the only story (worldview) that can provide all of this is a biblical worldview. This is why my blog from two weeks ago is so important. If Christian educators have not developed a biblical worldview, they will end up teaching from a secular worldview context. This will result in their students developing a secular worldview that will guide all of their decisions in life.
Being able to integrate a biblical worldview in one’s teaching will not take place naturally. It must be learned and practiced on an everyday basis. Unfortunately, the majority of Christian educators have not received adequate training in this area. Even Christian colleges and universities are not preparing their graduates to be able to teach from a biblical worldview perspective.
There is no doubt in my mind that we talk a great deal about integration of faith and learning. However, without intentional, ongoing training on how to do this, it will not happen. There are some very good resources that can help teachers develop a biblical worldview and plan and implement biblical worldview integrated lessons. Making the Connections and Think Again! are two resources that can help Christian educators become proficient in these two areas.
For teaching to be meaningful it must take place in the context of a worldview. What worldview are you integrating into your teaching? This is the defining question facing Christian educators today. How we answer this will determine our effectiveness in fulfilling the mission of kingdom education.