Each week we take a period of time for Professional Development. This article below (taken from a school practicing Teaching for Transformation, the program we are working to implement) shows what we are trying to achieve. The Teaching for Transformation framework is designed to shape our students lives, not just create another task for them (or our teachers) to master. We are all committed to rethinking the outcomes of our educational mission, and our professional development helps us put that together. As a school, we have two representatives from each campus working as ambassadors to the TFT program, with the hope that our Christian Education, in this day and age of institutionalized education, will be more sharply distinct and unique as we educate our students.
Article from Calvin Christian Schools (School Website):
Teaching for Transformation is a curricular framework that provides teachers with a template to develop a unit from a Christian perspective. The template begins with God’s Biblical Story, it then moves to a possible Through Line, or TL – more on that later, then into the Learning Outcomes – what is Essential, Important, and Worthwhile, next the Application of the learning, and finally it connects to Assessment.
Through Lines. A Through Line can be thought of as a theme for a unit, it holds the unit together. A phrase that we like to use is that the TL becomes the “thematic velcro” that connects and organizes the many facts, skills, and experiences within a unit or subject area. At the end of a unit, a key component of the learning would include an answer to the question – “How then shall I live?” Having students reflect on how God intended the world to be (Creation), what went wrong (the Fall), and how can we then become a transforming force within the world that has been redeemed by Christ (Redemption), are key steps the teacher seeks to walk the students through.
There are 10 Biblical Through Lines that a teacher can select for a given unit:
1 God – Worshipping: Students understand that worshipping God is about celebrating who God is, what God has done and is doing, and what God has created. Students see worship as a way of life.
2 Idolatry – Discerning: Students will understand that when other “things” are more important to us than our relationship with God, they become idols. Students will be challenged to identify, understand and discern the idols of our time and to then respond prophetically.
3 Earth – Keeping: Students will respond to God’s call to be stewards of all of creation.
4 Beauty – Creating: Students will celebrate God as the #1 CREATOR and understand that when we create things we show that we are made in God’s image. We offer praise to God by creating beautiful things. Our creativity makes God smile!
5 Justice – Seeking: Students will act as agents of change by identifying and responding to injustices.
6 Creation – Enjoying: Students will celebrate God’s beautiful creation.
7 Servant – Working: Students will work actively to heal brokenness and bring joy.
8 Community – Building: Students will be active pursuers and builders of communal shalom.
9 Image – Reflecting: Students bear the image of God in their daily lives. All humans are image reflectors.
10 Order – Discovering: Students will find harmony and order in God’s creation.
* Taken from from Calvin Christian Schools, Manitoba, Canada