Author Faculty (Discipline)

Education

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

12-2020

Book

Revealing Jesus in the Learning Environment: Making a World of Difference pp.85-117

ISBN

978-0-6484704-7-2

ANZSRC / FoR Code

13 EDUCATION| 1302 CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY| 2204 RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS

Avondale Research Centre

Christian Education Research Centre

Avondale Research Centre

Centre for Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)

B1

Peer Review

Before publication

Abstract

The learning environment is a complex living milieu, with many stakeholders and cultural inputs that impact how a student experiences a curriculum. It includes a hidden curriculum that has the potential to impact a student’s learning and experiences in ways that may not correspond with desired outcomes. A teacher or school system wishing to reveal Jesus in the learning environment must face this reality and critically reflect, expose what is hidden and question current practice. Reflection with intentionality, purpose and a rigorous process leads to transformation and improved student outcomes.

Such critically reflective practice requires vulnerability and courage. There are many forces within the learning environment that hinder the change process, including conflicting pressures on time, increasing expectations of compliance, competing demands and a sense of isolation. In addition, each educator has experiences, beliefs and assumptions that can create blind spots in practice and impact their sense of self-efficacy.

In the face of such strong resistance to transformation, how might an educator or educational institution navigate the uncharted territory of critical reflective practice? In this chapter I will introduce a mode of reflective practice and consider the roles of purpose, perspective, process and partnership in digging deep into praxis, seeking solutions within complexity and bringing about change.

What might inspire such intentional and courageous practice? A strong sense of purpose is needed if one is to swim against the flow, and the aim of revealing Jesus in the learning environment is such a purpose. This is a goal that burns deeply in the heart of many Christian educators. We explore this purpose, suggesting both a ‘syllabus’ and a ‘pedagogy’ from Jesus’ own ministry, through which to be more specific about our goals and intentions.

Using literature, personal experience and data from teacher interviews, this chapter makes an explorative foray into critical reflection upon the revealing of Jesus in the learning environment. By questioning current practice, making visible the ‘hidden curriculum’, seeking five lenses of perspective, examining context, considering partnerships and contemplating aspects of process, I argue that educators and educational institutions can be more intentional and humbly authentic in their attempts to reveal Jesus to students.

Comments

Used by permission: the author.

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access a copy of Revealing Jesus in the learning environment: Making a world of difference from Avondale College Library (371.071 K55-1).


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