I read an article recently that quoted a 2007 Australian educational forum and its goals for 2020. A statement made within the forum made quite an impression, “Essentially, education is about increasing our national productivity”. Such was my concern, that the statement has remained prominent in my mind. Implicit in this statement is a concerning world view asserting that the primary purpose of education is to prepare individuals to contribute to national economic productivity. While acknowledging the important contribution education makes to long-term national productivity, teaching and learning is much more than its ability to create effective, functional members of an economic enterprise. We might even conclude that the forum goals imply that the primary purpose of education is to increase national productivity, resulting in the dehumanising of individuals as they are viewed as cogs within an economically-driven machine.

In contrast, the scriptures paint a different picture. Paul writes in Romans 12:1-2 of the need to have our minds transformed so that we will no longer conform to the patterns of our society. The biblical principles, foundational to our model of education at Covenant Christian School, influence our way of thinking with regards to the goals of education. We seek, therefore, to develop a culture in which:

  1. Both the formal and informal curriculum are a faithful expression of a Christian world view, with every unit of work and lesson being considered in the light of Scripture. This is not simply a cognitive process, but an expression of faith, commitment and the opportunity to put into practice, in tangible ways, that biblical world view.
  2. We seek to disciple/nurture students. This may involve explicit teaching and modelling to students of how the scripture allows us to know God and how this knowing should impact our lives.
  3. We seek to train and require students to develop and use their God-given abilities and opportunities to serve him and other people. Therefore, the development and delivery of a biblically-informed, academically rigorous curriculum is essential to enable students to faithfully strive to reach their God-given potential and use their developed knowledge and skills to serve him and further his kingdom.

Perhaps the statement might more accurately be concluded by saying, “Essentially, from a Christian world view, education should be a faithful expression of a biblical world view that seeks to transform the mind, train the heart and thoroughly prepare students to use their God-given abilities and opportunities to serve God”.

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