Christian Education has three distinctive aspects that overlap. The diagram below is illustrative of this.
My responsibilities as a Christian Education Consultant apply to two of these aspects.
Teaching the Bible
Swan Christian Education Association made a significant commitment to teaching the Bible when it developed the Biblical Foundations Curriculum Framework. This framework was developed in a collaborative manner over several years and involved teams of staff from each of the SCEA schools. These teachers were all experienced in teaching the “Christian Living” course, and many have significant theological qualifications.
The Biblical Framework is a comprehensive and well planned curriculum that spans the school years K through to 12. It is based around a teaching platform that is grounded in Biblical Theology. The recurring theme of the framework works around the Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration account that is found throughout the Bible. The Framework is made up of groups of units that cover themes that can be taught in one year or over the three or four year “sub school” arrangement of the units. The units are designed for an age range corresponding to early childhood, primary, middle school and senior school.
My role is to support teachers and school leaders in the implementation of the Framework across the system. I have, in part, an awareness raising role, a direct support role, and the responsibility for maintaining the framework and providing support materials for staff. I provide “whole staff” professional learning, advice to leaders in the schools and support for individual teachers.
I would encourage teachers to spend some time looking through the Framework and the resources that it offers, some of which are relatively new. I also encourage teachers to contact me to come and meet with them to discuss ways of implementing particular units of work.
Biblical Worldview Teaching
From the very beginning SCEA has been committed to providing an education that is deeply embedded with a Biblical Worldview. All of our staff are committed Christians, and a worldview in which God is acknowledged as our creator and Jesus Christ is accepted as Lord, is embedded and implicit in our curriculum and all that we do. SCEA is Christ centred. We don’t separate the secular and faith or spiritual and material aspects of life and see each individual as a whole – created by God as a unique spiritual human being.
My role is also to provide support and training for teaching staff in teaching within a Biblical Worldview. I have provided professional learning and challenge to school leaders, I have addressed whole school staff meetings to raise the importance of this principle and I am currently running a series of sessions for the Junior School staff of one of our schools. Biblical Worldview teaching is an important point of difference for SCEA schools when compared to many other non-government schools. We live in a society where many of the Biblical principles that were generally accepted are now being challenged and so we need to be very clear and determined to maintain the Biblical perspective in all that we do.
I am keen to meet with groups of teachers and individual teachers to examine with them just what “teaching from a Biblical Worldview” looks like in action. The lure of some modern worldviews is great and we need to stay alert and beware of false worldviews. Talking matters through and spending time together reading how the Bible can inform our teaching is something that we should all engage in.
Working as a consultant for SCEA has provided a great challenge for me to apply the experience I had as a senior leader and Principal in an Anglican school along with the theological training that I had when I “retired” at the end of 2012.
SCEA was founded on the principle that it would provide an environment where children would be taught the curriculum from a Biblical perspective and also would be taught from the Bible directly. In these times we need to maintain our focus on both of these principles.