working together so learners can flourish

Archive for January, 2016

How does faith affect teaching and learning? #2

In my last post, I called attention to a site called I suggested that perusal of the resources on this site might aid us in our continual quest to make it more likely that our Christian faith will be integral to our teaching and learning. In this post, I continue an exploration of this resource.

whatiflearning examples

The ‘What if Learning’ approach uses three steps in designing teaching and learning – seeing anew, choosing engagement, and reshaping practice. The intent of the steps is to underline a “concern with how teaching and learning happen, not just with what content gets taught and when certain Christian words and ideas feature in the curriculum.”Cogs-Seeing-Anew-Engagement-Reshaping-Practice


The first step “Seeing anew“, “is about being open to new ways of looking at our teaching and what goes on in our classrooms, ways that can let connections with faith, hope, and love come into focus. Shifting from looking at a learning activity just in terms of the information conveyed, for example, to seeing it as at the same time a chance for moral growth or spiritual challenge can open up new possibilities.”


The authors offer examples of ways that Christian faith might lead us to see anew – in ways of seeing our pursuit of learning, our place in the world, our life together, and our service. The list is meant to be evocative, not exhaustive.


Examples of the “seeing anew” approach include:


Many more ‘what if’ scenarios are offered each with a discussion of strategies for engagement as well as an elementary and secondary example for each.


The plentiful resources on offer us a new lens and a new set of vocabulary with which to consider what we are currently doing. The examples offered, which are the heart of the site, can spark rich discussions of how we can make it more likely by design that our Christian faith will be integral to our teaching and learning.


As your staff engages with the ideas on this site, I encourage to share your own examples of seeing anew, choosing engagement, and reshaping practice. Through intentional collaboration, we can strengthen and encourage each other in our collective journey toward a distinctively Christian approach to teaching and learning.

elaine brouwer, director of alta vista


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