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Posts tagged ‘what if learning’

How does faith affect teaching and learning? #2

In my last post, I called attention to a site called whatiflearning.com. 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 whatiflearning.com 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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How does faith affect teaching and learning?

As Christian educators we are always on the lookout for authentic ways to make it more likely that our Christian faith will be integral to our teaching and learning. We want to avoid the bookends or the icing on the cake.

As one way to address that concern, I want to explore in this and future posts an approach described anCHOC CAKEd illustrated on a site called ‘What if Learning.’ In a Powerpoint on the site, the authors use the image of “a triple chocolate cake” to illustrate “where Christianity influences the ethos, the content of the curriculum, AND the teaching and learning.” Check it out.

The site is intentionally built around concrete examples of elementary and secondary teachers connecting their Christian faith with their teaching using three great strands of Christian thought and action – faith, hope, and love (I Corinthians 13:13).

whatiflearning examples

Each example includes:

  1. A brief commentary explaining how it connects with a Christian understanding of faith, hope and love.
  2. A brief explanation of how it connects with the ‘What If Learning’ approach.
  3. Suggestions for how you could create more examples like it.
  4. Hints for digging deeper into some Christian ideas that might illuminate the example.

example

A glance at a few of the titles of the examples (102 in all) gives you a glimpse of the ‘What if Learning’ approach:

titlesCogs-Seeing-Anew-Engagement-Reshaping-Practice

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.” These steps are meant to serve as aids in focusing on some key points of contact between Christianity and the way we teach. More on these ‘steps’ in future posts. In the meantime, I encourage to explore a few of the examples.

elaine brouwer, director of alta vista

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