The following is from the book Myths: Fact and Fiction about Teaching and Learning by Israel Galindo. How well do you know fact from fiction?
Fiction: Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
Fact: The Nina was actually the Santa Clara, and the Santa Maria was La Galanta. Pinta and Nina were nicknames given to the ships by their sailors. The Pinta’s official name has been lost.
Fiction: What is most helpful to the learner, and what we ought to be teaching in the church, is the practical stuff about how to live, not esoteric philosophy and theology and principles about Bible interpretation. We ought to be giving the learner the answers and practices about being a Christian.
Fact: Philosophy and theology, and sound Bible interpretation is, at heart, about how to live! What philosophers and sages and wise men have tried to teach us throughout history is that how you live your life, and what you do in life, all flow out of how you understand, and what you believe, about life and self. And understanding life and self is what philosophy and theology are all about.
So does that mean we should teach our children philosophy and theology? Darn right it does! Children are natural epistemologists (that’s a philosophical category in case you’ve forgotten your college Philosophy. 101). Children are in a wonderful stage in life during which they are not burdened by operational assumptions about how things work, why things are, or how things ought to be. Children as young as four years of age are continually asking the question â€œWhy?â€ Unlike adults, who have great difficulty un-learning things, a child’s world is one of constant learning and discovery. What’s important to understand here is that good discoverers know how to ask good questions (something most adult learners are reluctant to do, have you noticed?).
This means that our children and youth (and some adults) are able to handle theology. Anytime a three year old asked “Why mommy?” or a teen asks “Why me?” they are asking a theological question. The pity is that we’re all too quick to give them a mundane or pragmatic answer on the assumption that they can’t handle philosophical or theological struggles. They can, and will, if we give them the chance.
A sound Christian education is one that teaches children, youth, and adults how to ask better questions, not one that gives them all the answers. A healthy Christian education creates philosophers and theologians, not human depositories of knowledge and facts. If this is so, then here’s the question: What are the best methods to use in the Christian education of children? Of youth? Of adults? Think about it.
You can order a copy of the book Myth: Fact and Fiction about Teaching and Learning by Israel Galindo (ISBN 0-9715765-4-8) directly from Educational Consultants or Amazon.com.
Date posted: Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 12:05 am | Under category: books, children, Christian Education, philosophy
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