This seemed way cooler two days ago when I was taught it in Ed 201, but I still think the lesson was sweet. I think this concept is not new to me, but the way the teacher presented it really struck a chord with me (that, by the way, is a very weird saying).
Information –> Formation –> Transformation. The first two steps are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll explain them anyways. There is information, or content, that as a teacher you must get across to your students. You form the information in a way that the students can understand. The students then also form the information in their minds and in projects they complete. The last step of transformation is what we talked about in class on Tuesday.
The basis for transformational teaching comes from the sermon on the mount. It is found in Matthew 5-7. Jesus says a lot of stuff that is contrary to the culture of the time, and even today’s society. This sermon includes many “you were told this…but I say this” statements. He takes information that is already known and transforms it into something new.
For example, Jesus says in 5:21-22 ” You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” He takes it one step further.
Verses 27-30 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” I’m sorry, but that is definitely not something you’d hear from culture. It even goes against all logical reasoning.
Verses 43-48 say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Wow. That’s really hard to do. To us humans, it doesn’t make much sense to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Does Jesus actually want us to gouge out our eyes? Do we have to be perfect? Is anger really that bad? I don’t want to get into a theological debate about how relevant these passages are or who they are really written for.
What my professor taught us from these passages is that we must be counter-cultural. It was an education class, so he asked us to fill in the blanks as we think Jesus would have said it on the mount: ” ——— has been said about education, but I say ———— about education.” This was tough and relatively new to me. For one, the world teaches us to serve ourselves, but Jesus says serve others. Is it Biblical for parents to have more responsibility in the educational process? What is the purpose of learning content? Is it to pass a test? To learn more about ourselves? To learn more about God?
How do you see transformation at work in the classroom? What needs to be transformed that hasn’t yet been transformed?
There should be significant differences in Christian and public schools. The content does not have to differ very much, but the way teachers teach in a Christian school should be transformational. Teachers should teach truth in a much-needed counter-cultural way.
Stay tuned to find out how to teach like Jesus.