Ray Tiller

Equipping Christian Schools is dedicated to assist Christian school boards, leaders and teachers to develop the Christian perspectives, values, and skills needed to pursue their mission of effective Christian education.

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Bob writes a Christian curriculum unit

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​We peek over the window ledge and see Bob, science teacher for year 8, labouring at his desk preparing a science unit on “metamorphosis”.  Bob is using the “Rubber on the Road Christian Thinking” template to prepare his curriculum unit.   Let’s get a live feed from his brain and listen to his thinking:

When I look at the topic “metamorphosis” I am pretty clear on the basic technical content, the skills I want kids to learn and the available resources (In my creative teacher’s mind are pictures of the cycle of the butterfly - diagrams, film, etc; I’ve got a prac investigation- getting a vivariums set up; some research on species that have metamorphosis, endangered species, etc  – groups doing audio-visual presentations to put on our class webpage..... )

But, if I jump straight to my abundant creative ideas, how will I ensure that my unit is consistent with & expresses biblical truth & values, and how do I include the Australian curriculum’s cross-curriculum priorities?

Mmmm – so , using the Rubber on the Road Christian Thinking template, I have a series of simple questions to ask:

A.    Which biblical ideas undergird and inform this topic?

B.    Which cross-curriculum priorities are relevant to this topic

C.    Which values should be taught and reinforced in the teaching of this unit?

D.    What teaching/learning objectives are generated from A. & B. ?

E.    What teaching/learning activities and resources to I need to develop to ensure I meet these objectives?

A.      Which biblical ideas undergird and inform this topic?

 

1. From Statement #27 - Science and Christian faith
  • God is the creator, designer and sustainer of the amazing process we see in metamorphosis.
  • The process of the metamorphosis shows an “irreducible complexity” that logically suggests a designer and creator, and logically challenges the “chance and time only” ideas of the theory of evolution. 
  • When we see the wondrous complexity and beauty of metamorphosis, our human response is to acknowledge and worship God.

 

2. From Statement #7 - The Environment, Earth and its resources
  • God gives mankind responsibility to “steward” the earth on His behalf – our “dominion” responsibility to properly use, care for and manage the creatures and resources of the earth.
  • The earth will reflect both the positive and negative effects.  When we see environment degradation,extinction, etc we need to attributer it at least in part to human sinfulness expressed in greed, exploitation, neglect, etc

.

B.      Which Cross-curriculum priorities are relevant to this unit?

1.  Sustainability – I want to develop students understanding of the effects of our economic, agricultural, etc decisions and practices on the stages of the cycle of the butterfly & their effects on viability & extinction. 

2.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures – I could look at Aboriginal food use and environmental management (eg – the Bogong moth).

 

C.      Which values should be taught and reinforced in the teaching of this unit?

 I think I want to major on some key values in this unit:

1. To honour and appreciate God’s creative genius.

2. To highly value the importance of our care for the environment and its creatures.

3. To respect the knowledge and cultures of aboriginal people in relation to the creatures we are studying

 

OK – I think I am ready to start putting it all together now:

 

D.      What  teaching/learning objectives are generated from my understanding of the topic and the things I was thinking of at  A, B, & C?

 I need to turn all of the above into specific teaching/learning objectives, for example:

1.       Knowledge & understanding objectives:
  • Students should understand the stages of metamorphosis in the life-cycle of the butterfly.
  • They should understand the idea of complexity indicating design in contrast to chance.
  • etc 
  • etc
2.       Skills objectives:
  • Students should understand the stages of metamorphosis in the life-cycle of the butterfly.
  • They should understand the idea of complexity indicating design in contrast to chance.
  • etc
  • etc
3.    Values Objectives:
  • The students should be in awe of God’s creative genius
  • They should value the importance of our care for the environment and its creatures.
  • etc
  • etc

Now for the fun part:

 

E.       What  teaching/learning objectives are generated from my understanding of the topic and the things I was thinking of at  A, B, & C?

 

Now I can design activities, instructions, resources, discussions, projects which are focussed on meeting various combinations of the objectives at D.

 

... and so we leave Bob to burn the midnight oil ... but tomorrow he will excitedly start teaching a unit that will be both a great teaching/learning experience but will seamlessly lead the students through understanding life and learning from God’s perspective.

With Ray’s regular support and counsel, we are now half way through our first 2 year cycle. Realising the benefits of the program, teaching staff have asked for the teacher aides at the College to be involved in a similar process...

Continue Reading | Peter Edwards, Professional Learning Coordinator, Bundaberg Christian College