Good Teaching is...
- Friday, July 28, 2006
Discipleship is truly a communal activity. For too long we have made it an activity of an individual. As much as conservative America hates to admit it, Hillary Clinton is right - it does indeed take a village.
Good teaching creates a place where Truth is practiced
To teach, Parker Palmer says, is to "create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced."4 Good teaching pays attention to truth. I'm not just talking about propositional truth, but personal/relational Truth as well. Propositional truth is important. Good teachers pay close attention to propositional truth. However, personal/relational truth is what good Christian teaching should be after. Our goal is not to fill our students' minds with information, but to create an environment where they can meet and have an encounter with Jesus Christ.
In Finding God at Harvard, Kelly Monroe writes about the Harvard shield. Anyone who has ever seen a Harvard T-shirt, ball cap or notebook has seen that shield. The shield has a Latin word on it, VERITAS. VERITAS is Harvard's Motto. VERITAS is Latin for truth. In 1646 when the motto was adopted, Truth was understood to be not simply facts and figures, VERITAS was also a person. That person was Jesus.5 Good teaching not only passes on propositional truth but creates a place where students can meet and have relationship with the Truth, Jesus!
1 Parker J. Palmer. To Know as We are Known: A Spirituality of Education.
(Harper: San Francisco 1993) pg. 41
2 John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 20.3
(NPNS 1 12:112)
3 Stanley Hauerwas. A Community of Character
(University of Notre Dame Press: Notre Dame 1981) pg. 53
4 Parker pg. 69
5 Kelly Monroe. Finding God at Harvard.
(Zondervan: Grand Rapids 1976) pg 14
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