Educating with Purpose
This post is Part I of the Educating In the Image of God series. When I listed the attributes of God that we inherit by virtue of being created in his image, Purposeful was the first one I listed. We start with this attribute because it is profoundly important to wrap our brains and hearts around this concept so we may explore the remaining attributes with a proper frame of reference. We all know that God acts with purpose, but do we always act like we know it?
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
God has a purpose for everything he does and if we are bearing the image of God, we must do all things (including educating) with purpose. As parents, teachers, and educators, we must know the goal and our purpose in education. Donavon Graham, author of the book Redemptive Teaching, gives the best goal of education I’ve ever read.
The task of true education is to develop knowledge of God and His created reality and to use that knowledge in exercising a creative-redemptive dominion over the world in which we live. Such an outcome can be attained only by loving God and communing with him, resulting in the wholehearted worship of God.
You notice that in this “purpose statement” of education, there is nothing about concepts. There is no list of subjects or standard course competencies that should be taught. The entire purpose of education is to allow us to see God, God’s created reality, and to use that knowledge to serve and glorify Him. Every course should be designed with this purpose in mind – from conception to outline to final exam, always giving priority to the “Who” over the “What”.