We need your input: CSI is here to help your entire school community to comprehensively learn and live out the biblical “big story” in self-conscious and authentic ways. But we need your help.
You can help by providing your input regarding developing a framework for biblical worldview integration that is:
- Self-conscious and proactive: intentionally planned curriculum embedded with Christian worldview.
- Comprehensive: consistent with and connected to your school’s entire curriculum.
- Authentic: flows directly from the essential objectives of each unit of instruction.
Developing Your Framework
CSI’s goal is to provide schools with anything you need to develop your own framework for biblical worldview and faith integration. We are seeking your reaction to the following proposed process, not a finished product. Although the process ultimately results in a product, the process serves as the vitally important foundation to the product and encourages faculty ownership of the result.
Brief Overview of the Process
What follows is a suggested order for framework development, which may be adjusted to meet the needs of individual schools. Please let us know your reaction to each of these proposed steps and to the process as a whole.
- Step 1: Develop Consensus Regarding the Bible’s Big Story.
How does the Bible see the world and our place in it? In what big story are we living, and how are we called to participate in that story? The purpose of this step is to move a faculty beyond clichéd answers toward a consensus meaningful to our purpose as Christian educators. The broader the faculty representation, the better, as faculty ownership of the process (and the product) is crucial to its success. Suggested length: one half-day or two two-hour sessions.
- Step 2: Put Handles on the Big Story.
Once a faculty reaches general consensus on the big story, it inevitably sees that the big story is just too big to be of much practical help in day-to-day biblical integration. The purpose of this step is to break the big story into more manageable sub-themes, sometimes referred to as Throughlines. For example, if the big story is that God redeems fallen human beings so that they can help restore a fallen world to the way God intended it to be, how could a faculty divide up that story into sub-themes, usually eight to ten in number? These sub-themes need to contribute meaningfully to integration within the curriculum. Thankfully, others have gone before us. While it certainly is an option for a faculty to start from scratch here, it is not necessary: another option is to use what others have shared with us and adapt their work accordingly. Suggested length: three or four half-hour work sessions, including time to reflect between those sessions.
- Step 3A: Use Big Story Throughlines or Sub-Themes in Your Curriculum.
After the faculty has chosen its sub-themes, it can begin the long-term work of self-consciously and authentically integrating them into its curriculum. For example, suppose that one of the sub-themes is community building: being active shalom-seeking members of our communities. Can we find historical examples of persons living out this sub-theme? Living against it? How about in literature? To what extent does wise use of science contribute to communal shalom? How can we use mathematics to this end? The purpose of this long-term step is to make each sub- theme, and the Bible’s big story, come alive in your teaching and curriculum. Again, this is a long-term process that a conscientious faculty will likely never feel completely satisfied with.
- Step 3B: Participate in the Big Story.
Once the sub-themes are chosen, they can serve as means to move the school community beyond learning and into living. It is important for students to learn about ways in which the community building sub-theme has been practiced (or not) and the effect that has had on our own communities, etc. However, encouraging the school community to actually participate in building shalom in their communities is exactly what we would want our students to practice after they leave our schools!
Imagine the power of your entire school community authentically learning and living out—actually participating in—the biblical story! Please contact me with your input, suggestions, or questions, big or small. I’d love to hear from you!
– Bart Den Boer, worldview specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org