To articulate the foundational worldview from which an Adventist teacher delivers the Australian National Curriculum, diverse teams of experienced Australian Adventist School teachers recently created subject-specific curriculum frameworks. Although the frameworks were developed based on the Australian curriculum, it may be useful for teachers in other areas as well. Each framework provides a concise statement of principles, values and threads that undergird and guide what we consider to be real, true and good. This worldview is shaped and permeated with our belief that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6):
“A Christian approach to curriculum embraces the fullness of God. . . the Christian faith can and should be rendered in every classroom, in every subject, by every teacher and in the life of the school generally.”
We also believe strongly that each teacher must teach from within their own authentic Christian journey and that their experiential relationship with Jesus will permeate all they say and do. These frameworks endorse the notion that rather than being Christians who happen to teach, we are wanting to teach Christianly. We wish to reveal a God who loves unconditionally. As Blamires says,
“To think Christianly is to accept all things with the mind as related, directly or indirectly, to man’s eternal destiny as the redeemed and chosen child of God.”
Teaching is more than imparting information. Effective Christian teaching is transformational. It will take Romans 12:1-2 as its focus and try to nurture a discipleship response to God’s love in the lives of our students. This provides the basis for the term “threads” used in the Values and Action Response sections. ‘Threads’ are simply the qualities or characteristics we desire as responses from our students. They help provide cohesion and linkage to everyday living. These Action Responses, like Values, will often overlap in various subject areas, and provide a discipleship response to God’s love.
These documents are intended to be practical and succinct with a clear focus on the transforming role that the Adventist teacher can play in the lives of their students. It contains:
- A challenge to maximise transformative teachable moments.
- An Adventist curriculum overview statement.
- A subject-specific rationale followed by the objectives for that Key Learning Area.
- A section focused on just how values and action responses, with appropriate essential questions, can challenge the teacher to maximise an Adventist worldview and seek transformational experiences for their students.
- Three pro forma options for developing units with an embedded Adventist worldview based on the Understanding by Design curriculum model created by Wiggins and McTighe.
- Sample units – for both primary and secondary – that illustrate this.
George Knight notes in Educating for Eternity that,
“The essential point that the Adventist educator must grasp is that the teaching of any topic in an Adventist school must not be a modification of the approach used in non-Christian schools. It is rather a radical reorientation of that topic within the philosophical framework of Christianity.”
These Transformational Teaching documents (freely downloadable in word and pdf formats) are designed to assist teachers in intentionally including an Adventist Worldview in their Learning Areas.
To access the Transformational Teaching documents, click here
Note: Article written and posted in English