The Origin Of Christian Education And Its Purpose

1688 words - 7 pages

INTRODUCTIONChristian education is the systematic, definite teaching ministry of the Christian community, which helps its members in their faith formation so that they would become the agents of transformation in and outside the community. This conception of Christian education is consistent both with the biblical understanding of the Church and with the findings of recent educational psychology about the learning process. In this research let us see some of the Christian Education Agencies which is most prevalent in part of India.ORIGEN AND PURPOSE OF SUNDAY SCHOOL MOVEMENTThe Sunday school movement began in Britain in the 1780s. The Industrial Revolution had resulted in many children spending all week long working in factories. Christian philanthropists wanted to free these children from a life of illiteracy. Well into the 19th century, working hours were long. The first modest legislative restrictions came in 1802. This resulted in limiting the number of hours a child could work per day to 12! This limit was not lowered again until 1844. Moreover, Saturday was part of the regular work week. Sunday, therefore, was the only available time for these children to gain some education.So Raikes started a "Sunday school" for these poor children. Their parents could not pay for school like other better-off people could so Raikes paid for the first school himself-and recruited others to contribute. He became obsessed with reforming the morals of the poor children and the "lower class." In 1780 (or maybe 1781) he started this first Sunday school and paid the teacher himself. She quit soon after but he hired others. Since he was a printer, Raikes published large sheets with the Ten Commandments and other Scripture verses on them so the children could use them for his double-duty aim of learning to read and write-and at the same time learning moral principles to live by. These printed sheet were in a sense the first "Sunday school curriculum." Raikes was a devout member of the Church of England.It soon spread to America as well. Denominations and non-denominational organizations caught the vision and energetically began to create Sunday schools. Within decades, the movement had become extremely popular. By the mid-19th century, Sunday school attendance was a near universal aspect of childhood. Even parents who did not regularly attend church themselves generally insisted that their children go to Sunday school. Working-class families were grateful for this opportunity to receive an education. They also looked forward to annual highlights such as prize days, parades, and picnics, which came to mark the calendars of their lives as much as more traditional seasonal holidays.Religious education was, of course, always also a core component. The Bible was the textbook used for learning to read. Likewise, many children learned to write by copying out passages from the Scriptures. A basic catechism was also taught, as were spiritual practices such as prayer and...

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