The Bible and the Task of Teaching – free to download!

by David I Smith and John Shortt

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Chapter 1        Human sacrifices and mad orchestras  

Chapter 2        The case for the prosecution

Chapter 3        The Word become flesh

Chapter 4        From persons to presuppositions

Chapter 5        Approaches to teaching

Chapter 6        Once upon a time …    

Chapter 7        Story and curriculum

Chapter 8        Promises and perils in story

Chapter 9        Teaching as gardening

Chapter 10      What is a biblical metaphor?

Chapter 11      Weeding the garden

Chapter 12      The imitation of Christ

Chapter 13      Further biblical models

Chapter 14      Living the question



What is this book about?

The processes of education in home, church or school are central to life in our contemporary world. Christians claim that the Bible is authoritative for faith and life. But how can the Bible actually function as a ‘foundation’ or ‘source’ or ‘authority’ for education? In what sense can a modern school or a lesson in science or a theory of teaching or learning or an approach to home or church education be properly described as ‘biblical’? What kind of relation is there between the Bible and present-day educational concerns?

It is questions like these that this book is concerned to explore. It seeks to do so by outlining a range of distinct approaches or strategies by which the Bible can be fruitfully brought into relation with the processes of teaching and learning. The Bible is thereby shown to be a rich and varied resource which can provide educators with basic principles for application in various ways within education, with guidance and inspiration concerning the kind of persons we should be as educators, with metaphors and narratives which can transform our educational language, thought and practice, and with educational models presented in both the Bible’s content and in its shape as canon. These approaches all belong together, overlapping and interrelating, intertwined as the different strands of a rope rather than as a set of separate, alternative ways of coupling the Bible and education. The book outlines them in turn and their strengths and weaknesses are analysed. The intent is that the reader should, as a result of making use of them, become better able to teach and learn under the authority of the Bible in our contemporary postmodern and plural context.

The book seeks to be an academic work which is, at the same time, accessible to a wide range of teachers/ educators and to others interested in the relationship between the Bible and areas of life and work. It should be helpful to Christian educators in school, church and home contexts and to providers of initial and in-service teacher training in both Christian and secular educational institutions. The illustrations used in the book are drawn mainly from the experience of working with children and teenagers in day-school contexts but the content has major implications for education in church and home contexts and with learners of all ages.