Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Required Reading for Christian Schools

Last school year I was privileged to be part of a small group of teachers at my school who met together monthly to read and discuss things that would challenge or affirm our thinking about schooling, and Christian education in particular. We read a variety of things on different topics related to education: assessment, instructional practices, faith development...but there is one slim volume we read and discussed that I think should be required reading for all Christian teachers. (And administrators, board members, and parents, for that matter.)

My friend Dan Beerens, who writes and curates Christian Schools International's Nurturing Faith blog first turned me on to this one. The book is entitled 12 Affirmations 2.0: Christian Schooling for a Changing World, by Steven Vryhof. It's a short, digestible read designed for discussion with a group. In the book, Vryhof (with the support of other Christian educators) provides a dozen "affirmations" for Christian education in contemporary society. At the same time, he challenges his readers to evaluate how well their schools are in fact meeting the mission of Christian education.

If you are a Christian teacher, or a part of a Christian school, you really owe it to yourself and your school community to take the time to read and discuss the book. I hope and pray that it will be a challenge and encouragement to you as it was to me and my colleagues!

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