Picture Taken At the Wheeler District in OKC, OK
It's been three months since I graduated...
I acquired a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Hobe Sound Bible College this time, and the professors have powerfully molded me. Joanna Stratton is one of the people who saw in me what I did not even notice. She suggested I pursue this MEd when I was still in Hobe Sound, Florida. This advice was given to me in 2020 when COVID-19 drastically affected the whole world and many lives. So, right after I got my B.A. in Ministerial Studies from Hobe Sound Bible College, I enrolled in their MEd program the second term of the same summer. I had a break for about eight weeks before returning to school, but I am thankful I did.
Hobe Sound Bible College has shaped me to Know Christ and Make Him Known. I've since learned that education is one of the ways that God has gifted me so I could Make Him Known.
Education should not be up for grabs. Education is not neutral. Part of the "teleios," or end, of education should be to mold humans to love the Truth, goodness, and beauty that God has woven in His cosmos. I went to public school and knew the system. My teachers in public school told me many times that I needed to pass my classes, rack up volunteer hours, and join a bunch of extracellular clubs to beef up my resume so I could get into a "great" college after graduating.
The industrial revolution didn't just change how much humans could produce for society, but how society "produced" their humans in our schools.
At a young age, I gathered from my public school teachers that one's value is found in what one can produce, and the only things worth learning in life are the things that would allow me to produce more and acquire stuff. Through my tenure Master's studies about the "teleios" of education, my mind that my old public school once shaped has since been renewed and transformed.
Humans are more than what their hands can produce; our value is not found in the work of our hands but in the hands of the One Who made us.
An education whose teleios is to mold humans so that they merely produce in society & be good law-abiding citizens has the wrong end. An education whose teleios leads humans to be reconciled to God through Jesus the Christ while being exposed to the Truth, goodness, and beauty He's placed in the world has the right end. In the former teleios for education, we dehumanize humans, idolize productivity and reduce the complexity while marring the beauty of a human. The latter teleios for education recognizes that God made us "very good" in Genesis while making us gardeners so we can cultivate all He's given us responsibility over. Still, Adam & Eve's sin has broken & damaged our world. We have died because of our sin.
But the God who is love has sent Jesus the Christ to be a mediator between God and man, reconciling the two, and if we want to be the humans we were made to be, we need to be born again. Only New Creatures can live as true humans. In the latter teleios for education, you will find true humans who not only "produce" in the society they find themselves in but also live, act, help, give, and love in such a way that leads to the flourishing of everyone under their influence. In the former teleios for education, you get humans who just produce no matter what. Why should they care if the environment is destroyed, if they crush someone to get a job raise, or if other people in other countries are not flourishing because of their business practices? I graduated from the public school system in North Miami, Florida, and was under a broken teleios for education. I'm thankful God redeemed my story; He's also transformed and renewed my view of education and broadened my understanding of its teleios and flourishing scope. :)
Here are some quotes from my studies that have led to the restoration of how I view education:
"The task of true education is to develop knowledge of God and His created reality and to use that knowledge in exercising a creative-redemptive dominion over the world in which we live. Such an outcome can be attained only by loving God and communing with Him, resulting in the wholehearted worship of God."
-Donovan L. Graham
"Shaping ideas requires long-term interaction with long-range goals and 100% saturation."
-Tedd & Margy Tripp
"An education that fails to consider the fundamental questions of human existence—the questions about the meaning of life and the nature of truth, goodness, beauty, and justice, with which philosophy is concerned—is a very inadequate type of education."
-Harold Titus as quoted in Knight, 2006
"At present, opinion is divided about the subjects of education. People do not take the same view about what should be learned by the young, either with a view to human excellence or a view to the best possible life; nor is it clear whether education should be directed mainly to the intellect or to moral character … [,] whether the proper studies to be pursued are those that are useful in life, or those which make for excellence, or those that advance the bounds of knowledge.… Men do not all honor the same distinctive human excellence and so naturally they differ about the proper training for it."
—Aristotle as quoted in Knight, 2006
"A curriculum that is based on God's Word teaches students that all of life must revolve around the principles in God's Word."
"Schools that flourish are schools that have discovered the 'why' behind their' what.'"
"True education is always about learning to connect knowing with doing, belief with behavior."
- Steven Garber
"We dare not take lightly God's call to leadership in our lives. Example is much more potent than precept."
-J. Oswald Sanders
"The central idea of transformational leadership is empowering others for the purpose of bringing about significant change."
"The teacher should always teach for the purpose of life change."
So, with a renewed teleios for education, I want to teach others to know about the world God has created and our role in the Story of Redemption He's writing.
Some Pictures from my Graduation Ceremony in May 2022
Knight, George R. Philosophy And Education: An Introduction In Christian Perspective. 4th ed., Andrews University Press, 2006.
Graham, Donovan L. Teaching Redemptively: Bringing Grace And Truth Into Your Classroom. Purposeful Design Publications, 2009.
Tripp, Tedd, and Margy Tripp. Instructing A Child's Heart. Shepherd Press, 2008.
Pue, Alan. Rethinking Strategic Planning For Christian Schools. Purposeful Design Publications, 2016.
Garber, Steven. The Fabric Of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief And Behavior. Intervarsity Press, 2007.
Sanders, J. Oswald. Spiritual Leadership: Principles Of Excellence For Every Believer. Moody Publishers, 2017.
Kowalski, Theodore J. The School Superintendent. SAGE, 2012.
Wilkinson, Bruce. The Seven Laws Of The Learner. The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group, 2010.