In anticipation of this special 25th anniversary issue of the Christian Education Journal, I invited about two dozen veteran professors to share their reflections of trends and changes in the field of Christian education over the last 25 years. About half were able to do so. These are collected here and shared with you to encourage your own reflection on the past and discernment for the future.
The author discusses the key difference between Jigsaw I and Jigsaw II, that of providing a better balance between individual and group factors. He discusses the contribution Jigsaw Curriculum can make in Christian Education and in what ways it features biblical priorities, and provides a personal testimony for its effectiveness.
Our preconceptions about people dramatically affect the way we live and minister. More generic than the particular prejudices of racism and sexism, our anthropoligical perspectives span an even broader bias. That is, deep down, we must each regularly grapple with the all-pervasive question: "What do I really think about others? What do I believe is their innate essence?" The "Image of God" doctrine provides significant directives for both the professional and the layperson alike. A biblical analysis of this subject is set within the context of subtle, daily life influences. Practical points of classroom implementation are also offered to combat worldly ideologies and to provide a renewed vision for the church.
Typically, adult education in the church has favored a monological style of instruction. Though this approach does have merit, there are several all-too-important weaknesses when it is used almost exclusively. In order to balance andragogical practice, dialogue becomes imperative. Employment of complementary, dialogical learning patterns--through the illustrations of four biblical metaphors--highlights the essence of this article.
When questioned, many Christian education workers could identify the intended outcomes of their explicit curriculum. Some workers may even be able to recognize the more subtle "hidden" elements of the implicit curriculum. However, that which is rarely perceived by educators is the null curriculum, or material which is neglected in classroom instruction. Educational philosophies of Elliot W. Eisner, John Dewey, and Larry Richards are herein considered as their thoughts interface with these three emphases. Contemporary examples as well as a relevant, biblical text are cited in order to illustrate the significance of these curricula forms in Christian education today.