Teaching for Transformation
The biblical truth that resounds in our Christian school’s curriculum is that all things in the world belong to God. God created all things. It is into this story the Teaching for Transformation Throughlines, as developed by The Prairie Centre for Christian Education (PCCE) region, provides a framework for the development of authentic and integral Christian learning experiences that are grounded in a transformational worldview with a focus on the Biblical story.
Who Are Our Students?
Our goal is to educate and challenge every student at Immanuel Christian School to be:
|God- Worshipper||Students will understand that worshipping God is about celebrating who God is, what God has done and is doing, and what God has created. It is literally about standing in awe and wonder of God and His promises. Students will see this worship as a way of life.|
|Students need to learn to 'read' a worldview by asking questions about what is being portrayed in regard to culture, values, and belief systems. Through the curriculum students will be challenged to identity, understand, and lay bare the idols of our time (and time past).|
|Earth-Keeper||Students wil respond to God's call to be stewards of all of creation. Caretaking can so easily succumb to exploiting. We need to reclaim and relearn how to respectfully treat the world / universe and all things contained i it. This is a matter of respecting God and it our responsibility to be earth-keepers.|
|Beauty-Creator||Students will create beauty that praises God and enriches our world. Creation shouts that our God is a God who loves diversity, complexity, and creativity. Being an image-bearer means having the ability and the responsibility to discover, respond to, develop, use, and improve the world that God has placed us in.|
|Justice-Seeker||Students will act as agents of restoration. The world is not as God intended it to be. We lead our students to see the injustices in this world - but seeing those things can't be where we stop. We need to enable our students to act as agents of restoration by both identifying and responding to injustices.|
|Creation-Enjoyer||Students will celebrate God's beautiful creation and give testimony to the presence of God in creation. Creation enjoying is looking at, talking about, studying creation. Ordinary things become extraordinary when seen in a new way. Creation enjoying is helping to coax the 'song of joy' (Psalm 65:8) from ourselves and our students.|
|Servant-Worker||Students will work actively to heal brokeness and bring joy to individuals and to culture. Being an image-bearer means having the ability and the responsibility to discover, respond to, develop, use, and improve the world that God has placed us in. We need to cultivate in our students the desire and ability to offer hope, healing, and restoration to this world and its people. We do this in the knowledge and gratitude for the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.|
|Community-Builder||Students will be active pursuers and builders of community in their classrooms, their neighbourhoods, and in the global village, they are a part of. Students need to learn to pursue Shalom - to be active and eager examples of peaceful/shalom-filled communities. Our classrooms will become communities of grace where students will learn to walk and work together in peace.|
|Image-Reflector||Students bear the image of God in their daily lives. Being an image-bearer isn't something we DO. It is deeper than that. Image-bearer is something we ARE. We reflect God's image and we learn to see God's image in others. The more Christ-like our actions are, the more clearly Christ's light shines in a dark world.|
|Order-Discoverer||Students see God's fingerprints all over creation. When we read the creation account we read a story of God creating order out of chaos. There is purpose in God's creation and we are able to discover this amazing order within creation. One of the inescapable conclusions for our students must be, "God really had an amazing plan for all of this, didn't He!"|
Teaching to Transform Examples - Download this file to view examples of our Teaching to Transform Units.
An Exploration of the Through-Lines
God - Worshipping
Col. 1:10-13, Acts 17:28 Col 3:11 I Sam 12:24 John 4:24
Students understand that worshipping God is about celebrating who God is, what God has done and is doing, and what God has created. It is literally about standing in awe and wonder of knowledge of him and his promises. Students see this worship as a way of life.
Idolatry – Discerning
Deut. 11:6, I John 4:1 Romans 12:2, I Cor. 10:14
Students will understand that when other ‘things’ are more important to us than our relationship with God, they become idols.
Students will be challenged to identify, understand and discern the idols of our time and to then respond prophetically.
Earth – Keeping
Genesis 1:28 Isaiah 11:6 Psalm 65 Ezekiel 34:18-19
We need to respond to God’s call to be stewards of all of creation. God created the world and He gives us the opportunity to ‘manage’ it on His behalf! Amazing? Yes! Incredible? Yes! Easy? No!
Beauty – Creating
Genesis: God saw all that He had made and it was very good.
As image bearers of a creative God, we need to glorify and praise God by creating that which is beautiful or miraculous. This creativity that students offer as a sacrifice of praise isn’t optional but a joyful duty.
-Genesis says: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Justice – Seeking
Psalm 106:3 Psalm 9:16 Isaiah 61: 1 & 8
Students will act as agents of change by identifying and responding to injustices.
Creation – Enjoying
Psalm 19 I Tim 4:4-5 Psalm 65:8
We will celebrate God’s beautiful creation. Creation enjoying is looking at, talking about, studying creation. Ordinary things become extraordinary when seen in a new way.
Order – Discovering
James 3:13, I John 3:16 Matthew 20:28 Matthew 25 Acts 20:35
We find harmony and order in God’s creation. We desire for students to see God’s fingerprints all over creation. There is purpose in God’s creation and we are able to discover this amazing order within it.
Community – Building
I Cor. 12:12 Ephesians 4:4 John 17: 22-23
We will be active pursuers and builders of communal shalom. Our classrooms will be communities of grace where students will walk and work together
Image – Reflecting
Genesis 1:27 II Cor 4:10 Gal 2:20 Matt 25
We bear the image of God in their daily lives. All humans are image reflectors.
While we don’t always ACT righteously, and while we don’t always DO things successfully, what we ARE is image bearers of God.
Servant – Working
James 3:13 I John 3:16 Matt 20:28 Matthew 25
We will work actively to heal brokenness and bring joy to individuals and to culture.
We need to see that we are called to look for ways in our learning to affect change, improve situations for people, build community, and meet needs.
Creation: Human beings are created by God in his image. Therefore our ability to think and learn are gifts from him. God has created us “good”. Sin has distorted this original perception of goodness, but through His grace, some of it remains. Despite the prevalence of sin and evil that can be seen in the past and present, we can still see instances where God has moved human history forward according to His own plans. Despite the ails affecting us in the present, we continue to see beauty, goodness, curiosity, and a willingness to explore God’s creation and learn more about Him through the increased understanding of His work.
Fall: History has empirically and unequivocally demonstrated the extent of the depravity of mankind.
Man’s sinful conceptions can also be found everywhere, including in our educational institutions. The denial of absolute truth, the spirit of relativism that permeates discussions and conversely the suppression of questioning and exploration due to biased and short sighted proclamations of “truth” have all found their way (or managed to stay) in 21st century classrooms. The reality of current North American culture is such that post modernity does not provide an agreeable circumstance for religious belief to flourish. Reflective Christian educators want to avoid a “book-end” approach to Christian education in which secular education is merely sandwiched between prayer and devotions as this hardly reflects a distinctive approach to education. Furthermore, students who feel that they are “losers” while others are “winners” means that some of our students cannot see themselves the way God has intended them to be.
Redemption: God has not given up on His Creation. The death of His son, our Saviour, means that there is hope in our world, a hope that we could not achieve without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There are many different historical and contemporary schools of thought with regards to our identity. Who are we? What is our responsibility towards community? We need to acknowledge our place in Creation and join our Savior in working to bring glory to God in education and as an extension, all parts of Creation
The desire of Christian educators to maintain the integrity of Christ-centered education, is something that is not always easy to do in a post-modern age “do whatever you want” age.
On the other hand, Christian educators must be conscious about being reactionary and putting up high fences between themselves and the larger public education establishment. Such a mindset goes against proponents of a more transformative view of Christianity who don’t want to see Christianity put in a box. For all Christian educators to be ethical and responsible to the needs of their students, they need to engage in an ongoing dialogue with regards to educational initiatives/school improvement.
Restoration (God’s Fingerprints): As stated above, despite a broken world we can see evidence of God’s work in Creation. In human history, there have been many dark times, yet even there we see God’s hand in various shining examples. God has not abdicated his Creation. Recognizing his work, both inspires us to work alongside him and reminds us of his majesty. God promises to completely restore Creation (Matt. 24:30, Mark 14:62, Luke 17:30, I Thess. 5:23, Isa. 65:17, II Peter 3:13, Rev. 21:1). We also know that in the meantime, he often uses people to bring about his purpose and plan (Moses, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, Jacob, Joseph, Gideon, Peter, John, Luke, Paul etc.). In short this world is still God’s. In our study of modern history and current global events, we will look for His fingerprints. These may sometimes be subtle, but still very much there.
The question remains for education—how do we get this belief system to walk out into the practice of our classroom lessons? How can we actively and intentionally engage students in the creation-fall-redemption-restoration worldview, in ALL school activities. How do we avoid a “book-ends” approach to Christian education where prayer is done before and after the class, but the lesson remains largely unaffected?
One way that Christian curriculum is being developed by Immanuel Christian school staff is by utilizing “Through lines”. Through lines are thematic approaches towards curriculum, which allow teachers to authentically engage students from a Christian perspective, no matter what the subject or topic. Through lines, represent a larger movement as schools affiliated with the Prairie Center for Christian Education (PCCE) are in a partnership, developing Christian curriculum.