Designing Curriculum for the Glory of God

Curriculum

As an educator, curriculum development can be challenging. Educators want to ensure that curriculum is robust, relevant, and suitable to their audience. As a college instructor, I am cognizant of utilizing adult learning theories to create a learning experience that is engaging, relevant, rigorous, and thought-provoking. Our college also seek to design curriculum that will captivate a variety of learning styles. For example, some students learn visually while other students learn best auditorily. This is an important consideration for a curriculum designer.

In addition to these things, teaching adults comes with additional points to consider. Adults learners are often working full-time while completing their degree. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they enjoy learning concepts that they can apply to their daily work.

As a higher learning instructor within a faith-based university, it is imperative to incorporate the mission of God into the curriculum. In many ways, the instructor is the teacher of the classroom as well as the shepherd. It is important to connect scholarly concepts with biblical truths.

One must also take psychology and its contribution into consideration. Emotional Intelligence (EI) has gained popularity in recent years (Goleman, 1995). It is defined as one’s ability to understand their emotions and the emotions of others and manage themselves to a positive outcome in real-time (Bradberry, Greaves & Lencioni, 2009). There are four components to EI:

Self-Awareness

Ability to be aware of emotions and understand its impact

Self-Management

Ability to regulate one’s emotions as the emotions are occurring

Social Awareness

Ability to recognize, understand, and appreciate the feelings of others

Relationship Management

Ability to develop and maintain mutually satisfying relationships

 

In an institution that is not faith-based, I would simply teach these concepts while offering additional scholarly insight. But as a follower of Christ, I know there is a spiritual application for all the present realities we experience. Thus, as I create content, I am also engaging with the Bible to see applicable texts or verses that will bring the content to life. The following chart depicts the EI concept and the Biblical application:

Self-Awareness

Ability to be aware of emotions and understand its impact

 

Biblical Truth

For if anyone thinks he is something and is nothing, he deceives himself

Galatians 6:3

Self-Management

Ability to regulate one’s emotions as the emotions are occurring

 

Biblical Truth

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control Proverbs 25:28

Social Awareness

Ability to recognize, understand, and appreciate the feelings of others

 

Biblical Truth

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Relationship Management

Ability to develop and maintain mutually satisfying relationships

 

Biblical Truth

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

There are many ways for our us to connect biblical principles to the concepts in the course. Another way that I do this, is through weekly devotionals. These devotionals feature a time for prayer, the scripture spotlight, and an opportunity to submit their prayer requests. I believe more is caught than taught. It is my prayer that students will be able to follow that example of prayer and reading God’s word in their own lives.

Christian educators should not only be concerned with imparting knowledge, but also sharing the gospel. Each class is an opportunity to shepherd the flock of students God has given you. As instructors, we should consider these things as we design curriculum.

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Dr. Adrianna is a faculty member at AdventHealth University. She earned her Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Organizational Leadership where she investigated emotional intelligence among middle level managers. Dr. Davis has been working in healthcare and higher education for over 8 years.

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