Ready for Launch

Ready for Launch

Thursday, 26 March 2015  | Jacqui - Director of Teaching and Learning
We have been counting down for some time now, but we are finally ready for the official launch of our book entitled Transformational Education. This afternoon, at the same time as many MECS newsletters are being retrieved from school bags, MECS staff are gathering with special guests at Donvale Christian College to celebrate this achievement.

Our Transformational Education book began as a large Teaching and Learning framework document! It was designed to unpack the key distinctives of MECS’ vision and mission, and how these translate to teaching and learning. Our previous Principal, Martin H, was a key driver of this endeavour. He wished to articulate the various things that were precious for our school community.

Throughout 2011 and 2012, the MECS Teaching and Learning Leadership (TALL) team worked closely with Harry Burggraaf in identifying and developing these ‘transformational’ characteristics.

In honour of Harry who passed away in early 2013, we decided to further develop this document into a book to share with Christian school communities. We are hopeful that in presenting our core understandings of biblically informed education at MECS, others may be encouraged to apply these to their own context. In the book’s Foreword, Martin writes:
“Transformational Education seeks to capture the essential vision of Christian education and provide a directional guide for teachers. I commend those who are ‘seeking’, to let this book challenge thinking and provide guidance to the shaping of educational practice. My hope, like that of Harry Burggraaf’s, is that they are able to embrace the transformational vision of education.”
Each of the sixteen chapters includes a detailed description of the key idea, illustrative scriptures, implications for teaching and learning, and further questions for discussion. They also include artwork and poetry from our very own MECS students. Our book’s curator, Cameron, has been working with Diane over the last two years to creatively design the pages of this publication.

The acrostic of ‘transformational’ captures our 16 key characteristics:
Transformative Christian Education – At the heart of Christian education is responsive discipleship for the transformation of the whole of life.

Rich Learning – Learning in the Christian school is broad, deep, expansive, varied, reflective, playful and engaging, catering for the varied needs and interests of each student.

Adventurous Methodologies – To facilitate rich learning, teachers and students make discerning use of a wide range of methods with which to explore and appreciate God’s world and Word.

Nurturing Diversity – Students have different needs and interests, strengths and weaknesses, abilities and disabilities, so education is shaped to allow everyone to experience the rich joy of learning well.

Scripturally Infused – The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are central to our understanding of life and the educational task and they inform every aspect of the Christian school.

Formation – head, heart, hand – Education is for the formation of the whole person: intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual and for the development of character and the learning of wisdom.

Overarching Story – The Biblical narrative of redemption and the coming of God’s Kingdom is the story that informs and shapes every aspect of the life of the school.

Relational Community – Effective learning happens best in a community where there are relationships of trust and mutual service, where people exercise their particular calling before God.

Meaningful Structures – Structures such as student groupings, classes, spatial settings and buildings should be flexible to serve the needs of learning and the learner and to promote the core understandings we have about education.

Active Learning – Learning is a dynamic activity involving curiosity, imagination, exploration, inquiry, experiential activities and employing a wide repertoire of engaging strategies.

Teachers in Teams – Working in teams for mutual support, encouragement, growth and accountability reflects the nature of the body of Christ and enhances the learning task.

Integral Approach – The integral approach recognises that the ‘whole’ of life, including learning, is held together by God’s story. A ‘slice of life’ or ‘chunk’ of creation is explored from a range of perspectives within a Biblical framework of understanding.

Oriented for Students – Teaching and learning is ‘Christ-centred’ and ‘student oriented’, where teacher and student each operate in their respective office and calling.

New Horizons
– We embrace the future, changes and innovations with confidence and hope, as Christ is the Lord of history; we make use of new educational insights and technologies with Biblical discernment.

Academic Faithfulness – Teachers work faithfully to be the best they can be at the craft of teaching, within their gifts and abilities. Students work faithfully to be the best learners they can be, according to their gifting. Each works to the glory of God.

Learning for Understanding, Appreciation & Responsible Action – Learning is more than mastering information and skills. Learning is for understanding, appreciation and responsive action.

It is our hope that as you read through these ‘precious things’ you can already see examples of how these are outworked at MECS. If you’re interested in reading more about these key characteristics of MECS’ approach to teaching and learning, you may purchase your very own copy of our new book from the office for $20 each.

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