24 Oct Education that is Christian
Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning
Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans
Crossway Press (2006), 224 pages
FES Library book call number: 261.502 LIT
The progress of time brings many changes to every aspect of life. Unlike the demand for skilful workers of a particular trade or in the industrial age, there is a great need for men and women who are intelligent and able to adapt well to the rapid changes in the global and tech-savvy economy of the information age today. At the same time, the way knowledge is acquired and processed has also shifted. Persuasive arguments reign over rational arguments especially when one is bombarded with zillions of information. Thus, it is necessary that educators respond to these changes to better prepare men and women who are relevant to these cultural shifts.
The authors suggest that there are two essential qualities that should be cultivated through education to equip people today: wisdom and eloquence. Wisdom is needed to navigate the ever-changing circumstances of the world. Concurrently, eloquence is required to communicate effectively and persuasively in order to positively influence the society. Both should find their basis in the Scripture, with which Christians should view the world they live in. Unfortunately, the authors observe that many schools, including Christian schools, are lacking in cultivating these qualities in their graduates. Drawing from years of experience in the educational field, the authors share their observations and give practical suggestions on how the above qualities can be developed in schools. They use the paradigm of classical education that is also known as liberal arts, through which the authors offer a way to integrate the Christian faith and education.
The book brings many valuable insights particularly in educating those in the primary and secondary levels. While the concept of liberal arts may be unfamiliar to many, the book poses good challenges for Christian schools to re-evaluate their approach, i.e. whether they have provided an education that is Christian for the students under their care. Furthermore, Christian educators who seek to enrich their pedagogy may gain inputs from the alternative approach to modern education although they may not be able to influence the whole institution in which they work.
If you wish to take up this book, let FLINT suggest a simple reading guide to help you on this journey.