Christian educators and psychologists searching for new avenues for teaching and learning have a rich reserve in John Wesley's understanding and classification of "The Means of Grace." The means of grace provide an excellent metaphor for connecting Wesley's sacramental theology, basic Christian practices and various ways of knowing. The term "ways of knowing" is a new metaphor in psychology and education that "ruptures" traditional epistemological categories of cognitive, affective, and behavioral families of learning.
Research from various theorists addressing the ways of knowing provide a new way of identifying and understanding how persons perceive, learn, and construct the world around them. Wesley's category, "the means of grace" also identifies certain basic Christian education practices (including prayer, Scripture, fasting, Eucharist, and Christian community) that are sacramental in nature. This sacramental quality, found particularly in the Eucharist, also encourages a receptivity to learning based upon past, present, and even future experience.
After beginning with a brief overview of the means of grace, the paper provides a brief synopsis of the psychological and educational research associated with "ways of knowing," including some of the new suggested categories for learning (narrative, ritual, interpersonal, etc.). It then describes the power of the Eucharist to convey meaning at multiple levels (past, present, and future). The body of the paper proceeds to suggest how various Christian practices in the means of grace might communicate different ways of knowing God through an epistemological and sacramental synthesis. While primarily focused upon the field of education, this presentation also includes new insights for therapists and other psychologists interested in insight and learning.
This article describes several different modes for learning and worship with elementary age children that are currently in use in churches in North America and, in some cases, in other countries. The context is typically Sunday morning, but not exclusively.
What is it like to be a child, to experience daily life as a child? The author spent four months observing and interviewing children in the hallways of a public elementary school of over six hundred students. The article makes careful differentiation between school culture (controlled by teachers ) and peer culture (controlled by students). After presenting the findings, the article discusses the implication of awareness of peer culture and student culture for educational ministries. Because there is conflict between the culture imposed by the institution and the culture of the children within the institution, teachers and those responsible for children in the church must be aware of the differences in the cultures because these differences are important to children.
A survey examining the moral values and moral behaviors of high school graduates from Christian and public high schools was conducted. The survey focused on twelve moral issues, determining the attitude and practice of Christian students who had attended either Christian or public high schools. The hypothesis stated that there are no significant statistical differences between the moral values of Christian school graduates and public school graduates. T-tests were used to determine if any statistical differences of the means from the two groups exist. Implications of the findings for Christian educators are discussed.
This paper examines central elements of the style of education that has recently developed among computer "hackers" and suggests that certain principles of hacker-style learning can and should be applied in other settings, even those of congregational and school-based religious education. In dialogue with the research of cultural historian Ignace Meyerson and contemporary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, it proposes a practical theoretical framework through which this application may be explored, and argues for a model of religious education that revolves around the shared cultural works of communities of faith.
Christian education that is transformative for students requires more than Bible teaching that explains the text. This article explores how Paul represented Christ to the Galatians by means of becoming Jesus to this church. Through embodiment teachers can make a message live for students in ways that other teaching approaches cannot accomplish. A study of selected passages from Galatians demonstrates Paul's use of embodiment as an instructional approach for transformation.
One of the issues that plagues those who study the philosophy of education is the contradictory answers different philosophies give to rather basic questions. This article poses these basic questions and seeks to cast them in a Christian frame of reference.