What Makes a Christian View of Students Unique?

Christian school leaders understand that the student is born into sin. This differs from those who hold to the Romantic View.[1] In the Romantic View, the student already possesses all that they need within themselves. Those who support this view believe that teachers only help the student draw out what is already inside them. The teacher is little more than a gardener who only keeps weeds out of the student’s growth. This approach, however, is nothing short of Humanism.[2] The Christian educator rejects a humanistic worldview as he or she recognizes from life experience, as well as knowledge of the Scriptures, that what dwells within us is a sinful and fallen nature.

Another view of the student is the Transmissive View, which sees the student as an empty vessel to fill with knowledge.[3] Christian educators also reject this view. The human mind and soul are not just empty vats. The teacher is more than just some sort of educational or spiritual technician dumping data into an empty storage compartment.

A Christian View of the student recognizes that the primary need of every individual is spiritual regeneration and the continual sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.[4] We are all God’s unique creations, who must discover a more complete and deeper understanding of our Creator, the world we live in, and our own personal calling as believer/priest in the world. It is a view that demonstrates Compassion for the students as fellow travelers in that journey.

©2017 Toby A. Travis, Ed.D.

[1] V. James Mannoia Jr., Christian Liberal Arts: An Education That Goes Beyond (New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000), 50.

[2] “Humanism,” Wikipedia, accessed 21 June 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism.

[3] Andrew Johnson, “Teaching Models: Transmission, Transaction, and Transformation,” Academia, accessed 4 July 2016, http://www.academia.edu/14626351/TEACHING_MODELS_TRANSMISSION_TRANSACTION_AND_TRANSFORMATION.

[4] Steve Holtrop, “Christian Views of the Student,” In All Things, accessed 4 July 2016, http://inallthings.org/christian-views-of-the-student/.

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