Article X: The Headmaster (teacher) as Chief Exponent of a Christian world and life view
The Headmaster as Head Teacher addresses every constituency about the ideas, processes and purpose of the academy. Teaching the meta-narrative and how to understand it is one of my favorite subjects and the principal reason for my career choice as a classical Christian educator.
Education begins with a presupposed view of God, humankind and the world. Whether consciously or unconsciously all humans have a worldviewish outlook that influences thought and action and therefore teaching and learning. To the Christian this view is self consciously revelational, based on the presupposition that God is and that he has spoken to us through the books of the Old and New Testaments wherein lie the fundamental answers to our questions about life. The non-Christian must search elsewhere whether in rational-humanism-materialism, a mythical spirituality or some kind of a synthesis. When studying anything, one must uncover the underlying worldview of the author, his thoughts, his character or a policy to gain understanding and perform analysis. The importance of this process for the teacher cannot be underestimated as the outlook of the student shaped over time in the classroom will one day determine how each will live, and move and have his/her being.
There are many worldview paradigms helpful to this process but one most helpful to the Christian teacher is the assumption of a creation-fall-redemption-consummation paradigm. In the first phrase of the 4th C Nicene Creed, much that is relevant to the Christian’s worldview is articulated, “We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” We understand that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1, 2 ESV. We realize from Genesis as summarized in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, that God made the world, including humankind out of nothing and declared it all very good. He completed His work in six days, including creating humankind in the image of God, stepped back and said, “I like it!” Further, we understand from the book of Hebrews, He “upholds all things by the world of His power,” leaving nothing to chance but rather guiding all things by His divine providence.
Our first parents, however, left to their own free will, sinned and fell from the original estate wherein they were created and humankind and all of the cosmos (created order) fell into a state of sin and misery. God however out of his mercy provided redemption beginning with covering Adam and Eve, calling a people to Himself and in due time He sent the only begotten Son of God, to deliver some from this estate of sin and misery into an estate of salvation by Jesus Christ the redeemer. This redemption carries implications not only for humankind but also for the whole creation that longs for the manifestation of the sons of God. ( Romans 8 ) Therefore, the Christian can confidently move into his world bringing redemption into every aspect of life. Ultimately at His second coming, all things will consummate in a renewed heaven and earth. This creation-fall-redemption-consummation paradigm provides the matrix for the Christian worldview and for evaluation of any worldview.
The wise teacher will use real events or fiction to help students learn to discover the underlying worldview of main characters to assess their thoughts and actions and thereby learn wisdom for their own lives. Next week I will illustrate by comparing and contrasting Alexander the Great and Alfred the Great, two great leaders, worldviews apart.
Worldview Continued: Alexander and Alfred
The Strategic Academy Assessment and Action Plan
And many more