It goes without saying that curriculum is a big word in education . . . maybe the biggest word. Faculty meetings regularly focus on curriculum, and over 75% of all seminars offered at conferences deal with some aspect of curriculum. We speak of it when we refer to a school’s course of study. While interviewing parents for admission to Wilmington Christian School, they often ask, “What is your school’s curriculum?” Or asked (wrongfully!) another way, “What curriculum does your school use?” In the vernacular of yesteryear we called it “readin’, ritin’, and ‘rithmetic”. Basically, it’s what school is supposed to be about!
The distinctive of a Christian school education goes deeper than just to gather facts, or just to make better citizens. What school is all about at WCS stems from the worldview that is expressed in the children’s hymn, “This is my father’s world, O let me never forget, that though the wrong seems often so strong, God is the ruler yet!” God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer is also the “Cosmic Center” of all we are and do. Our year verse at WCS, Romans 15:4, states our curriculum this way, “For everything that was written in the past, was written to teach us . . . so that we might have hope.”
A Christian education has a curriculum of hope. In the course of study in faith and learning, God has provided the curriculum, and developed it through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through His Word and through the hearts and minds of the Christ-centered teacher. It is taught in a multitude of methodologies, with lots of resource and supplemental materials. It is evaluated both here & now, and also as preparation for “higher (eternal) education.” This curriculum covers the entire spectrum of human knowledge, wisdom, and understanding . . . that’s why we use such terms as “integration”, “restoration”, and “reconciliation.”
The hope that holds our curriculum together is that it all makes sense. That Christ holds all things together, that there is harmony between God’s world, His Word, and our development/fulfillment as persons. And, that in the end, He will have the preeminence in our lives and we will love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Only in this hope can we truly reach our potential as whole beings and our fullness as children of God. In that oft quoted verse from Isaiah 40, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”
In the book, Vision With A Task, the authors cite an inscription found on an old English chapel dating back to 1730 . . .
“A vision without a task is but a dream;
A task without a vision is drudgery;
A vision with a task is the hope of the world.”
Next time someone in the grocery store is discussing education (a hot topic in the frozen food section these days!), tell him or her about the curriculum of hope your kids are receiving. Tell them that it is the only course of study worth studying, and the only study that will keep us on course!
˜Mr. Stevens, January ’05