New book in revealing Jesus series is a “must read” for Christian educators

Co-editors Beverly Christian and Peter Kilgour gift a copy of their new book Revealing Jesus in the Learning Environment: Evidence and Impact to Alicia Starr from Avondale Libraries [Credit: Brenton Stacey].

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The latest in a series of books about how educators reveal Jesus to students can help safeguard Christian education in a changing society, say its editors.

Christian education is “a light on a hill” but, if unexamined, “risks becoming irrelevant in a world where concepts of authority, knowledge and relationships are open to interpretation and where technology is restructuring the educational landscape,” said Beverly Christian, co-editor of Revealing Jesus in the Learning Environment: Evidence and Impact. With an increasing focus on self, sidelining of biblical truth, and reliance on online delivery of classes, “the calling of Christian educators to reveal Jesus is more crucial than ever.”

Ms Christian and colleague Associate Professor Peter Kilgour encourage readers to heed this call by compiling chapters that explore ideas and practices from historical, philosophical and practical perspectives. The context spans Christian learning environments across primary and high schools and colleges and universities. The content, in the form of academic literature reviews, position and research papers, is in three parts.

Part one offers evidence and impact of the role teachers play in revealing Jesus. It includes research about teacher dispositions, peer bullying, and how a garden program influenced children’s perceptions of God and Jesus.

Part two presents the journey of the Pacific Group of Christian Schools as it reimagined teaching practice to reveal Jesus. It elaborates on personal viewpoint pedagogy, other-focused and inclusive thinking, and validating opinions using the Bible as a source of truth.

Part three discusses the role of community in schools. It provides an understanding of the roots of Christian education and explores spiritual intelligence. The final chapter challenges educators to: recognise the assumptions behind evidence of impact; ask how these relate to biblical teaching, and; increase understanding of the Bible at the same pace as their field of expertise.

In her speech at the launch on April 6, Ms Christian described editing the book as not only “excellent professional development” but also “a spiritual experience.” Now retired, the former head of the School of Education and Science has revealed Jesus to students “her whole career,” said Associate Professor Kilgour. He presented her with a bouquet of flowers to celebrate this commitment to Christian education.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Kevin Petrie thanked Ms Christian and Associate Professor Kilgour for their “labour of love.” “What could be more aligned with our purpose of transforming lives through Christ-centred higher education?”

Revealing Jesus is now a three-part series, with publication of Experiences of Christian Educators in 2019 and Making A World of Difference in 2020. Get your copy of Revealing Jesus in the Learning Environment: Evidence and Impact from Amazon.

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