ACSI Vol 17.3 : Page 8

4. Agency: Christian pedagogy should teach children that their actions can and will impact the world. Perhaps one of the greatest structural sins we have seen in education is teaching some children to believe that, while some are able to impact the world, most are not. Sadly, these children’s classroom experiences of failure become regularized to the point of accept-We believe Christians should help students see the world honestly and critically, and that a redemptive Christian pedagogy can be part of the critique of and dialogue within society. the call to serve God and do God’s will. When a vocation becomes educational service, service entails enacting God’s will not only for oneself but also for those one teaches. To pour oneself out in service to others reflects the service undertaken by Christ on the cross—kenosis—pouring out of the self for the wellbeing of others. Educational service ing a system where many have no access to finan-cial and economic resources. Perhaps more sadly, some children learn to believe they are not worthy of opportunities, hope, or efficacious self-definitions. Those of us who teach see these self-definitions and their cor-responding behaviors enacted in children. Simply stated, we believe the educational system should help all children come to believe they can impact the world powerfully. means to give to others for the sake of themselves and the fulfilment of their relationship with God. Such service is not so foreign to teachers. Parsons’ research (2013), found that three actions motivate teachers’ work: community, agency, and service. 7. Edification: Christian pedagogy should undertake the active practice of 1 Corinthians 14:26: “What is the out-come then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification” (NASB). Here, Paul recognizes that all people—teachers and students alike—bring unique gifts (teachers and par-ents both know that two children—even siblings—differ in wonderful ways) and calls for a synthesis of human action towards building rather than destroying. This biblical test of edification offers a goal for our collective work. All things should be done for the building of the community. If acts do not build the community, all of us individually and as a church must reconsider our work. To the question: “What is the chief end of man?” Augus-tine (1997, 1) answered, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” For Augustine, “To enjoy some-thing is to hold fast to it in love for its own sake. To use something is to apply whatever it may be to the purpose of obtaining what you love.” We believe Christian pedagogy should include enjoyment in its focus, while being restor-ative, hospitable, transformative, and based on edifying classroom relationships and conversations. Christian pedagogy should disrupt the axiom “if you can’t measure it, it’s not valuable.” Such reductionism, based upon economic rationalism, fuels a xenophobic reaction against threats of disrupting the educational status quo. In fact, considered in light of an explicitly Christian pedagogy, the status quo should be disrupted. 5. Stewardship: We understand stewardship as a holistic, responsible relationship with the world—including teaching that humans exist in harmony with God’s nature and creation. To be a steward is to care for and respect the moral limits of human agency in the world. To be educational stewards means that all persons engaged in teaching and learning respond with care for those in their midst and with consideration of the possibilities that lay within other people. We agree with theologian Carol Simon (1997) who, in The Disciplined Heart , suggests teachers’ “narrative imaginations” can help develop potential stories of becoming that energize both teachers and students. Simon outlines how narrative imagination can build relationships and community as it engages learners in both the gravity and grace of life. Stewardship calls us to foster in children the gifts and treasures they bring to learning. Stewardship actively invites diverse, unique aptitudes and skills into the realm of education. Far from stripping participants to their lowest common learning denominator, stewardship aims to create anew from a diversity of gifts and persons. 6. Service: Teachers should actively practice Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (NKJV). A Christian understanding of service comes first from 8 2013/2014 . cse Volume 17 Number 3 . Characteristics of Christian Pedagogy

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