Many Christians have been educated through government schools or by teachers who were educated in government schools. As a result, many may need to rethink their ideas about education and the traditional models of education. To make sure parents view education biblically, they can compare what the Bible says about the spiritual training of children with their own ideas. The answers to the following questions may aid in understanding the biblical doctrine on education:
What is the purpose of education?
- Is education merely the process of gaining knowledge and developing the mind, or does it involve more?
- Should education prepare children for a specific job in life, or should it teach them how to live and work?
- Does education include learning proper conduct in life’s circumstances and instilling values and morals that enable an individual to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong?
- Although academics are an important element of education, should not the spiritual training and character development of children be of primary importance?
What are your educational goals for your child or children?
- Do you want them to view life and the world around them through the lens of Scripture?
- Do you want them to develop a love for and a positive attitude about learning?
- Do you want them to become life-long learners?
- Do you want them to be able to learn without a teacher and be independent self-starters?
Education is not religiously neutral. It is either based on sound biblical truth or it is based on a secular foundation. To build a sound Christian educational program, the foundation for that program must be a biblical worldview. A worldview is the lens through which an individual views his world and makes sense of what he sees and hears. A biblical worldview should always cause a person to search the Scriptures and to ask, “What does the Bible say about this issue? What does God want me to do?”
Building a biblical view of education is a prerequisite for parents as they make educational decisions for children. Generally, teaching from a Christian worldview is more easily accomplished with curriculum materials written from a biblical foundation or from a Christian publisher. However, since many materials from secular sources can also be used successfully in a campus Christian school or Christian home school, it is vitally important for the parent or teacher to have a well-developed Christian worldview.
Books and materials, such as Israel Wayne’s Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview and Christian Overman’s Making the Connections: How to Put Biblical Worldview Integration Into Practice, book and training DVD, can help parents or teachers cultivate their thinking along biblical lines.
Materials from The Nehemiah Institute and The Biblical Worldview Learning Center are also useful when incorporated into a Christian school or Christian home school. The Nehemiah Institute is a unique Christian ministry providing a one-of-a-kind Christian worldview program that tests and trains families, schools and churches. For more information about their PEERS Testing, visit their website at http://www.nehemiahinstitute.com.
The Biblical Worldview Learning Center provides individuals, organizations, and ministries with distinctively Christian books, resources, seminars and consultation for training believers in biblical worldview thinking and Christian apologetics. Visit their website at http://www.biblicalview.com to find out more about the services and materials they offer.
Christian education involves more than the transfer of information or knowledge to children. It includes the development of understanding and wisdom based upon knowledge as defined in Scripture. When parents are reluctant to place their children in Christian schools or to home school them over concerns that their children may miss some important information or subject matter, they need to reconsider the purpose of education. A biblical, as well as practical, approach to education is to equip children with basic skills so that they can continue to learn for a lifetime. These skills include:
- Study skills: the ability to read material and extract important facts, to take notes, to organize work and ideas, to manage the use of time and to meet deadlines.
- Communication skills: the ability to express ideas, thoughts and opinions effectively by writing or speaking; this should also include the ability to share beliefs and Christian faith with others.
- Writing skills: the ability to put thoughts on paper; to write clearly, concisely and accurately; to write logically; and to master the various types of composition.
- Speaking skills: the ability to express thoughts verbally in an understandable fashion and to make oral presentations before a group.
- Research skills: the ability to use the library with knowledge of where to look for information, to research online, to have an understanding of the scientific method and its limitations, to know how to ask questions and seek help when needed and to filter out unreliable sources.
- Problem-solving skills: the ability to state a problem succinctly and to analyze it, to recognize the implications and consequences to various actions, and to devise solutions.
- Critical-thinking skills: the ability to study independently; to think for oneself; to think logically; to reason; to analyze what is seen, heard, and read; to recognize the bias of printed material; and to be able to follow directions.
- Technology Skills: the ability to use the computer and the various skills necessary for proficiency, to be able to use email and to understand the proper use of the Internet.
- A love of learning: the ability and desire to investigate topics of interest and to solve problems with confidence.