Learning for Responsible Action

Learning for Responsible Action

Thursday, 22 March 2018  | Jacqui - Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Transformational Education

Learning for responsible action

The opening sentence of the first chapter of MECS’ Transformational Education book reads ‘Learning in this Christian school has a clear purpose; the transformation of students and teachers so that they might have the mind, heart and life of Christ and be his disciples.’

Many educational approaches see the student primarily as a thinker and learning is focussed on cognitive things or on the ‘head’. Biblically, it is the metaphorical heart (kardia) which is the seat of learning and formation. The ‘heart’ reflects the fabric of a person’s life and shapes the formation of their character. Christian education doesn’t stop at the heart. It aims to instruct the mind, shape the heart and equip the hand. The phrase ‘head, heart, and hand’ captures well the understanding of this all-encompassing formation.

At MECS we are constantly looking for ways to be more intentional about the way we design our curriculum to allow for this ‘head, heart, and hand’ learning. One approach is our use of Threads which we attempt to weave throughout our curriculum, assessment and classroom practices. Threads are action responses; they are challenges that God calls us to live out. They are expressions of what it means to be responsive disciples of Jesus, pointing others to the Kingdom of God.

Woven throughout the fabric of His Story, God reveals His intentions for how his people can live in harmony with each other and the created world. These intentions were ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. By identifying and embedding carefully chosen appropriate Threads into units of work, we are giving students the opportunity to explore and ponder what it means to be Christ-like and Spirit-led ambassadors on the earth. By weaving Threads through our curriculum here at MECS, we encourage our students to become part of God’s restoration project.

The Threads are briefly outlined as follows:

1. Loving God

Students respond to God’s love by loving God in return and their neighbour as themselves.

2. Building Community

Students are active contributors and encouragers of others as the community is built up.

3. Caretaking Earth

Students actively respond to God’s call to carefully manage all of creation.

4. Celebrating Life

Students embrace the full suite of God’s provisions in life and live in such a way that all may flourish.

5. Challenging Distortions

Students identify and critique areas impacted by sin and then discern God’s purposes.

6. Discovering Patterns

Students explore and discover God’s patterns and designs for delighting in and/or using for the benefit of all.

7. Embracing Diversity

Students respect and celebrate the built-in differences between cultures and peoples given for the enhancement of all.

8. Expressing Words

Students use words to build up, make choices, and express life.

9. Getting Wisdom

Students can go deeper than understanding and knowledge to seek the insight of God.

10. Imagining Innovations

Students innovate and renew for good purposes and thereby praise the master designer.

11. Imitating Humility

Students gratefully accept God’s grace and respond by humbly serving Him.

12. Overcoming Setbacks

Students overcome setbacks through the strength of the Spirit and live in hope and faith.

13. Pondering Creation

Students contemplate both the Creator and His handiwork and respond in delight and praise.

14. Practising Hospitality

Students welcome and accept others, and use their gifts to embrace others into community.

15. Pursuing Peace

Students bring healing and restoration to people and areas of brokenness.

16. Reflecting Creativity

Students praise God by reflecting their Creator in making expressive and inspiring things and ideas.

17. Relishing Play

Students have an attitude of joy-filled play as they respond to what God has provided and Christ has restored.

18. Seeking Justice

Students act as agents of change by identifying and responding to injustice.

19. Shaping Culture

Students understand their cultural context, discern its errors and its virtues, and seek to ‘shake and shape’ it for the Kingdom.

20. Showing Mercy

Students respond to God’s mercy by likewise, being merciful to others.

21. Transforming Thinking

Students let every thought be captive to Christ so that their thinking is transformed by the renewing of their minds.

22. Understanding Vocation

Students discover the vocational task in which God has called them to serve.

23. Unwrapping Gifts

Students enrich theirs and others’ lives through developing and using their gifts.

These 23 threads are not an exhaustive list and our teachers are encouraged to use them as a starting prompt. In recent discussions with some of our new MECS teachers, they have identified others such as developing courage, and encouraging and celebrating the successes of others. It’s exciting to see that our challenge to teach for responsive discipleship continues to be an area of passion and focus at MECS.


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