An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Resources for a Christian approach to (school) education

Doug Blomberg, Wisdom and Curriculum: Christian Schooling After Postmodernity Dordt College Press, 2007.

Doug Blomberg and Ian Lambert (eds.): Reminding: Renewing the Mind in Learning. Sydney: Centre for the Study of Australian Christianity

Ken Bussema, "Perspectives on developmental psychology." Pro Rege 22 (1993) 1:1-8.

Ken Bussema, "Developmental considerations for a theory of instruction." Pro Rege 13 (1984) 1:2-16

Trevor Cooling A Christian Vision for State Education, SPCK, 1994.

Trevor Cooling Called to Teach: Teaching as a Mission Vocation,  Grove Books, 2010.

Arnold DeGraaf The Educational Ministry of the Church,  Craig Press, 1968

Norman DeJong, (ed). Christian Approaches to Learning Theory. Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 1984.

Jack Fennema,. Nurturing Children in the Lord: A Study Guide for Teachers on Developing a Biblical Approach to Discipline. Philipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1978. Reprinted: Sioux Center: Dordt Press, 1994.

Stuart Fowler, Christian Educational Distinctives. Potchefstroom: Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, 1987.

Stuart Fowler, et al. Christian Schooling: Education for Freedom. Potchefstroom: Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, 1990.

Stuart Fowler, The Foundations of Christian EducationAfrican Journal for Transformational Scholarship 2(1) 

Stuart Fowler, Rationality, Certainty and Education. African Journal for Transformational Scholarship. 1(2)

Chris Gousmett, Education in God’s World, 1997

Albert E. Greene Jr., Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education, Purposeful Design Publications; 2nd edition, 2003.

Lee  Hollaar, "Christian education: Yesterday’s dream, today’s experience, tomorrow’s vision." Pro Rege 23 (1994) 1:18-26.

John B. Hulst, "Creativity in Christian education." Pro Rege 16 (1987) 2:15-22.

Ian Lambert and Suzanne Mitchell (eds.) Reclaiming the Future: Australian Perspectives on Christian Schooling.  Sydney: Centre for the Study of Australian Christianity.

Pam MacKenzie, et al. Entry Points for Christian Education. Care for Education, 1997.

Jack Mechielsen (ed.) No Icing on the Cake: Christian Foundations for Education Brookes-Hall, 1980.

Parker J Palmer, To Know As We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.

Mark Roques, Curriculum Unmasked: Towards a Christian Understanding of Education. Monarch, 1989.

Signe Sandsmark Is World View Neutral Education Possible and Desirable? A Christian Response to Liberal Arguments Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2000.

David Smith, The Bible and the Task of Teaching Stapleford Centre, 2002.

David Smith, ‘Does God dwell in the detail? The daily grind of Christian teaching’, lecture 2001

David Smith, ‘Biblical Teaching’, Christian School Teacher, Spring 2003 .

John Shortt, Towards a Reformed Epistemology and its Educational SignificancePhD Thesis. University of London Institute of Education, 1991.

John Shortt and Trevor Cooling Agenda for Educational Change Apollos, 1997.

Geraldine J. Steensma and Harro W. Van Brummelen, Shaping School Curriculum: A Biblical View Signal, 1977.

Gloria Stronks, "Myths and realities in Christian education." Pro Rege 23 (1995) 3:1-10.

Gloria Stronks and Doug Blomberg, A Vision with a Task: Christian Schooling for Responsible Discipleship Baker 1993.

Elmer John Thiessen, In Defence of Religious Schools and Colleges. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001.

Harro Van Brummelen, Walking with God in the Classroom. Burlington, Ont: Welch, 1992.

Harro Van Brummelen "Stirring heart and mind: Teaching for Biblical values." Pro Rege 23 (1995) 3:11-18.

John Van Dyk, Letters to Lisa. Sioux Center: Dordt Press, 1997

John Van Dyk, The Maplewood Story: Fostering a Reflective Culture in the Christian School. Dordt College Press, 2007.

John Van Dyk, The Craft of Christian Teaching: A Classroom Journey. Dordt College Press, 2000.

John Vriend et al. To Prod the “Slumbering Giant”: Crisis, Commitment, and Christian Education Wedge, 1972.

Transfoming lives
Called to teach
John Shortt
Transforming Teachers

Association of Christian Schools International

Journal of Education and Christian Belief
Christian School Education
Journal of Christian Education
A Journal of the International Christian Community for Teacher Education


Here are a few suggestions regarding Herman Bavinck’s Reformed educational philosophy:

Essays on Religion, Science, and Society. Edited by John Bolt. Translated by Harry Boonstra and Gerrit Sheeres. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.
See the essays on "Trends in Pedagogy" and "Classical Education," chs. 12 and 13, respectively.
(NB: This book is a translation of Bavinck’s Verzamelde opstellen op het gebied van godsdienst en wetenschap (Kampen: Kok, 1921).)
Brederveld, Jakob. Christian Education: A Summary and Critical Discussion of Bavinck’s Pedagogical Principles. Grand Rapids, MI: Smitter, 1928.

Jaarsma, Cornelius Richard. The Educational Philosophy of Herman Bavinck: A Textbook in Education. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing company, 1935.

Nicholas Wolterstorff:

Harro van Brummelen, Telling the Next Generation: Educational  Development in North American Calvinist Schools University Press of America/ Institute for Christian Studies, 1986

Thanks to various thinknetters and commentersfor the updated suggestions.


Liz said...

This might be way out of left field, but how about a book that is a resource for Christian parents concerned about how public school goes against their own beliefs? "Ben's Big Bang Botheration" is the first in a planned series called "Today in Science Class." Ben has always like science, until his teacher insists that everything came from nothing; no involvement from God. He questions and then realizes it's OK to bring his doubts to his parents and begins to see why God truly is the most logical explanation for the existence of our universe. The book -- and the rest of the series -- counters theories taught in public schools that are contradictory to a God-created universe. It's very relevant in today's public school classrooms.

Owlb said...

A wonderful book list for reformational orientation to the teaching profession's task. Thank you very much, once again, dean Steve!

I'd add Harro van Brummelen's Telling the Next Generation, a history of curriculum theories and developments of Christian parent-controlled schools in Canada with many borrowings from counterpart thinkers and practioners in the USA. Especially, Van Brummelen sets Bavinck's Principles of Education (which were a mainstay in North America, but which also blocked openness to and development of key insights into Bavinck's old book (almost a foundational document for Christian schools of Reformed inspiration in the Netherlands). One gets a very different view of Bavinck's educational value in Jaarsma's wonderful study. But nowhere have i seen in the English-language literature what influenced Bavinck to write his Christian Educational Principles they way he did. That is, Bavinck was strongly influenced by a successor to Kant' s chair in philosophy in Germany. That figure was Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841).

If I may, I quote at length from the Wikipedia article on Herbart:

"Principles of Education

"Herbart’s pedagogy emphasized the connection between individual development and the resulting societal contribution. In Platonic tradition, Herbart espoused that only by becoming productive citizens could people fulfill their true purpose: “He believed that every child is born with a unique potential, his Individuality, but that this potential remained unfulfilled until it was analysed and transformed by education in accordance with what he regarded as the accumulated values of civilization”.[2] Only formalized, rigorous education could, he believed, provide the framework for moral and intellectual development. The five key ideas which composed his concept of individual maturation were Inner Freedom, Perfection, Benevolence, Justice, and Equity or Recompense.[3] ...

Owlb said...

continuing ... "According to Herbart, abilities were not innate but could be instilled, so a thorough education could provide the framework for moral and intellectual development. In order to develop an educational paradigm that would provide an intellectual base that would lead to a consciousness of social responsibility, Herbart advocated that teachers utilize a methodology with five formal steps: “Using this structure a teacher prepared a topic of interest to the children, presented that topic, and questioned them inductively, so that they reached new knowledge based on what they had already known, looked back, and deductively summed up the lesson’s achievements, then related them to moral precepts for daily living”.[4]

"In order to appeal to learners’ interests, Herbart advocated using literature and historical stories instead of the drier basal readers that were popular at the time. Whereas the moralistic tales in many of the primers and readers of the period were predictable and allegorical, Herbart felt that children would appreciate the psychological and literary nuances of the masterpieces of the canon.[5]

"Though he died in 1841, his pedagogy enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in the mid- nineteenth century; while Germany was its intellectual center, it “found a ready echo in those countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and the United States in which the development of Individuality into Character appeared particularly well attuned to the prevailing economic, political and social circumstances”.[6] The combination of individual potentiality and civic responsibility seemed to reflect democratic ideals.

"Though the emphasis on character building through literary appreciation diminished somewhat after the movement toward utilitarianism following World War I, Herbart’s pedagogy continues to influence the field by raising important questions about the role of critical thinking, and literary appreciation in education."

Bavinck needed a resource in order to combat the rise of Rousseauvian ideology in the Dutch educational debates. Herbart was ready at hand with many valuable insites, but the reliance on Herbart coupled with the necessity of polemic against the ideas of Rousseay meant that Bavinck was not able to adequately and critically appreciate the later contriubtions of American educational philosopher, John Dewey. Nevertheless, following Herbart's establishment of the discipline of philosophy of education (howbeit in his own case dependent on a version of idealism), Bavinck may well be thawt of the undergirding drive in the Christian Reformed Church toward producing PhDs. I do think at one pointl the CRCNA had more PhDs per capita than any other denomination in the USA.