The education of children has existed since the beginning of time as parents have taught and molded their children into the young adults they desired them to be. Initial training of children was not in a formal setting, although history would see numerous settings, purposes, and methodological changes. Philosophies of education have also changed through the years as various voices have seemed to grasp the purpose of educating the next generation, thus laying out objectives to reach those goals of teaching children.
The statement “philosophy of Christian education” contains much information to be unwrapped. The term philosophy literally means, in the Greek, “love of wisdom.” In this case, the study of philosophy involves a “critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge” (Philosophy). My understanding of Christian education is what I hope to unveil in this brief document. A high-quality education of children must embrace a student’s intellect, spiritual nature, social life, emotional growth, and physical health. I see evidence for this in scripture as Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). The goal of education should be the training of children, in every area of their life, for adulthood. What makes my philosophy of education different from the secular world is the distinctively Christian biblical worldview. It is this biblical worldview that sets apart Christian education from the public schools in our culture because we address the spiritual dimension of children that the secular humanistic education denies.
The first scripture that comes to mind when I think of Christian education is the Hebrew Shema and its challenge to families. “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Christian education is not all about what takes place in the formal classroom at school. As Christian educators, we are in a partnership with moms and dads to help shape and disciple their children. It is the discipleship of children that propels believing teachers to devote their life to this vital ministry of Christian education.
When it comes to the education of children, there are numerous fundamental factors, to mention a few: parents, teachers, the student himself, curriculum, methodology, culture, and the Holy Spirit. Students must first take responsibility for their own education and desire to learn. Even though this key educational factor is not a prerequisite for learning, all students must eventually hunger for learning or it will never take root in their lives. Responsible teachers must use responsible materials and methodology in order for purposeful...