(Thanks to Michael Essenburg, Christian Academy in Japan, for sharing this post and to Wordle.net for the image.)
You know that when you meet your students’ learning needs, they do better. Since you want your students to do better on connecting what they study and Biblical principles, you decide to meet specific learning needs.
Question: What 3 learning needs will you meet?
Here are sample student learning needs:
- Understanding the importance of connecting what they study and Biblical principles.
- Knowing what it looks like to connect what they study and Biblical principles.
- Understanding how you (or their other teachers) teach from a Biblical perspective.
- Understanding the vocabulary.
- Experiencing engaging instructional strategies.
- Having time to think through the answers for themselves.
- Having time to reflect.
- Connecting their lives, Biblical principles, and what they study.
- Practicing connecting Biblical principles and what they study.
Here’s what one high school teacher is doing:
I’m passionate about my students loving God with their minds. I really want them to develop a Christ-centered worldview. One way I help them do this is by helping them apply a Biblical perspective to what they study. This year I’ve been working to meet 3 of my students’ learning needs:
(#5) Experiencing engaging instructional strategies: When my students are engaged, they learn better. A key instructional strategy I’m using is asking questions. Just this past week, I asked my students “What’s the difference between infatuation and love?” They became quickly engaged, and their discussion resulted in them talking about the biblical concept of love.
(#6) Time to think through the answers for themselves: When kids have time to think, they are more likely to make connections. Since I want my students to connect learning and faith, I’ve been providing time for my students to think. For example, in my “Who Am I?” unit, I gave my students time to think about who they are spiritually, culturally, and personally.
(#8) Connecting their lives, Biblical principles, and what they study: My students do a better job of understanding and applying a biblical perspective when I incorporate their life experience. For example, my students all know that what the Nazis did to the Jews was horrible and that it violated the biblical teaching of respecting others as God’s image bearers. But then they leave class and gossip.
To help my students really get the implications of respecting others, I asked them to do a 2-part journal entry: (1) to list examples of respect and contempt for human dignity from a holocaust memoir and (2) to list examples of respect and contempt for human dignity that they see at school. Then I had them discuss their entries in small groups. It worked!