Published Authors on World Book Day

It seemed fitting that a large box of educational texts arrived at the SCEA Office late last week – on World Book Day (April 23).

However, these teaching texts were not the usual textbooks that roll through the door from time to time.

They had never been seen before – and the names of the authors were strangely familiar.

Dr Graeme Cross and Dr Thelma Perso!

The new book, ‘Gospel-Inspired Teaching & Learning’  is now available through publisher Amba Press and presents a framework for Christian teaching and learning in schools.

Dr Graeme Cross has worked hard in this book to answer the question of how the gospel shapes teaching and learning in a Christian school:

“Soon after entering the world of Christian education and exploring the Christian schooling literature, it became evident to me that there were very few resources that helped to inform educational practice in open enrolment Christian schools,” said Dr Cross this week. 

“There is a rich body of scholarship available to support closed enrolment schools, which has been developed over many years, but it has limited relevance to open-enrolment contexts.  Thelma and I hope this book will serve to support those of us who are involved in the rapidly growing open-enrolment schools across Australia and abroad.”   

Dr Thelma Perso came to SCEA in 2015 after a long career working in government schools and administrations across Australia. She realised that Christian education has the potential to impact young lives in a profound way, but there was a lack of real literature around the teaching and learning formation for faith-based schools:

“On joining SCEA, it occurred to me that a lot of what I was seeing in the teaching and learning was very similar to what I’d been part of in public schooling, and it wasn’t clear to me what the ‘Christian’ distinctive was,” said Dr Perso.

“In this book, Graeme and I brought together the educational and theological scholarship to demonstrate that embedding a Christian worldview into educational excellence has the potential to be profound.  When practiced, it gives students access to rich and abundant lives through their reasoning and desire to serve God and make a difference”.

This dynamo duo really got serious with the concept of the book for Christian teachers when Thelma joined the SCEA Head Office in the role of Chief Education Officer. She retired at the end of 2022 and now serves on the SCEA Board.

Fundamentally, this book answers the questions of:

– What framework do we use when shaping teaching and learning?

– How do we support learning in a school shaped by Christian virtues?

– How does the gospel shape teaching and learning in a Christian school?

Stay tuned to see how this book may be utilised in your SCEA school in the coming days.

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