Define: Get the facts defined.
In the past week or unit, what connections did your student make between…
- Course content and life?
- Course content and the Bible?
- What’s comfortable/uncomfortable about having your students connect course content and life? course content and the Bible? course content, the Bible, and life?
- What’s comfortable/uncomfortable for your students in terms of connecting course content and life? course content and the Bible? course content, the Bible, and life?
- How does making connections impact student learning?
- How does connecting course content and the Bible help students apply a Biblical perspective?
- How might connecting course content, the Bible, and life help students apply a Biblical perspective?
- What questions can you ask your students?
- How can you use questions to help your students love God?
Now what? Help your students achieve their objective by meeting 1 of their learning needs.
Question: What are you students’ learning needs? To identify your students’ learning needs, review the list of 10 questions below. Note which questions you think you need to answer in order to meet your students’ learning needs:
- How can you help your students see the importance of creation-fall-redemption-restoration?
- How can you help your students understand that creation-fall-redemption-restoration can be connected to course content?
- How can you show your students what connecting course content and creation-fall-redemption-restoration looks like?
- How can you help your students understand how you teach using creation-fall-redemption-restoration?
- What vocabulary words do your students need to learn?
engaging instructional strategies will help
- How can you give your students opportunities to think through answers for themselves?
- How can you provide time during class for reflection?
- How can you design assessments so that your students connect creation-fall-redemption-restoration with their lives?
- How can you give your students more practice?
Remember, the goal is not to have an answer. The goal is to use your answer to help your students connect what they study and creation-fall-redemption-restoration. Today.
Powerful opportunities – teachable moments – as teachers and administrators we crave these times when it seems every student’s eye, ear, and heart is hyper tuned to the subject at hand. However, sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances we would never hope for, yet provide teachable moments that will never be forgotten….
I will never forget the response of prayer by my teachers in my childhood days following the assassination of national leaders and the sudden tragic death of a fellow student’s father in an accident. These are times when our words and actions are extraordinarily important in terms of how we reveal our own faith and shape the faith of those for whom we are responsible. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are equipped and ready for these situations of life difficulty whenever they may emerge with students….
Dilemmas are more problematic because we are making choices between potentially unpleasant outcomes. Dilemmas also reveal our character and belief systems, leaving us open to criticism by those who judge our decisions and actions. We need to teach students how to make tough decisions when faced with dilemmas – what will be the guiding principles for them on which to base their decision? As Christians we believe the Bible is that source of truth for discernment.
How can you design assessments so that your students connect a Biblical perspective with their lives?
You think: “I want my students to apply a Biblical perspective to what they study. That’s a big challenge. This is school, so isn’t getting students to apply a Biblical perspective to what they study good enough? I don’t know that I’m up to helping kids connect Biblical perspective, course content, and their lives. But come to think of it, when I’ve done this, kids come alive. I wonder what I can do.”
Your goal: You want your students to increase their understanding and application of a Biblical perspective. (You recognize that the more your students connect a Biblical perspective, course content, and their lives, the more likely they are to get it.)
Your reality: You decide to take a good look at your current practice. You start by looking at 5 of your assessment prompts, figuring that this is a good way to gauge how often you have students connect Biblical perspective, course content, and their lives. You notice that your assessment prompts require students to connect Biblical perspective to course content, but not to their lives.
So, you talk to colleagues about adding “life” to your assessment prompts, and they share some of their assessment prompts. You read the prompts, highlighting the “life” sections:
English 10 (750-word essay): How significant a part of what’s wrong with the world is the tendency to disregard the human dignity of others, and how should a Christian respond? Illustrate your answer from literature, history, current events, and your own experience. Be sure to address the relevance of the Biblical concepts of the image of God and the second greatest commandment.
Science 9: Use three carbon footprint calculators to estimate your family’s and your greenhouse gas emissions and compare your results with national averages. In the context of using your learning to care for God’s creation, identify three ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Next, make a poster that shows what you learned, including your calculations for greenhouse gas emissions, a graph of your personal footprint, a written explanation of a Biblical perspective on why Christians should be concerned about the size of their carbon footprint, and three or more steps you are taking or could take to reduce the size of your carbon footprint.
You think: I can do that. I can add “life” to my assessment prompts. Then, if I teach to my prompts, students will have practice connecting Biblical perspective, course content, and their lives—during lessons and on assessments!
Question: In a given unit, what part of your students’ lives can you ask them to apply a Biblical perspective to?
- Co-curricular activities
- Current events
- Life experiences
- Life goals
- School issues
- Other: ______________________________
Here are 3 possible action steps:
- Modify an existing assessment prompt so that it
requires your students to connect Biblical
perspective, course content, and their lives.
- Modify your unit content map so that it
includes the content and skills your students need
in order to do your assessment.
- Prepare your students for the assessment by teaching the revised unit content/skills.
Teachers, to what extent does this describe your thinking? Principals, to what extent does this describe your teachers’ thinking?
To really get this, I need to connect the Bible with my life, not just with what I teach in class. If I could connect the Bible with my daily life, I think I could get a better handle on teaching from a Biblical perspective. I read about current events, and I’m not always sure how the Bible applies.
If the above describes your thinking or the thinking of your staff, what are 5 things you could do to connect the Bible with your life? Pick one and implement it. Today.