Details for Paradigms of the 21st century: challenges for Christian Educators
- Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
- Course code: EDU503
- Credit points: 9
The successful completion of the 12 Graduate Diploma units must precede this unit. Placement in an educational setting (not necessarily full time) is required for this unit. The expectation is that this unit is designed for practising novice teachers seeking to extend their graduate status (i.e. they will have completed enough units to attain a Graduate Diploma or equivalent and satisfactory completion of the NSW Graduate Teacher Standards and be working towards the Professional Competence through the professional development this unit provides. Experienced teachers may also take this unit for professional development.
It is possible to take this unit with either EDU501 Action Research Project Part A or EDU502 Action Research Project Part B.
The unit Paradigms of the 21st century: challenges for Christian Educators is part of the subject area Education and is offered as a part of the following Awards: Master of Teaching (Primary) (Alphacrucis College (NSW Dept. of Education)).
This unit is designed to wrestle with the challenging issues facing the 21st century, in particular, the current trends and drivers which shape globalization: be they social, cultural, political, environmental, economic, technological, educational or religious. Analytical tools will be drawn from philosophy, science and linguistics. The influence of the media in shaping both culture and consumer literacy from a values based perspective, is examined. As people of influence in the community, Christian teachers’ awareness of how 21st century paradigms impact students, is vital. Effective communication skill development in the advancement of a biblical response to current issues is emphasised. The degree to which the (novice) teacher’s own context (possibly rural and remote communities) is impacted by global trends will be taken into account.
This unit is intended to support the novice teacher in their early placements as teachers in working towards achieving the NSW Institute of Teachers Professional Teaching Standards- Professional Competence. Early placements may include Rural and Remote community settings which are likely to increase the demands on novice teachers in administrative duties and extra curricula commitments. Providing organisational ideas for the demands of extra curricula and administration loads for teachers’ contexts will be explored. Value is placed on the importance of establishing networks with Christian peers and mentoring future generations. On-line forums to address skills and the ability to navigate competing agendas and demands in these more isolated contexts will be provided. The intent of the unit is to scaffold the novice teacher’s development as a proficient practitioner and, together with EDU501 & EDU502 Action Research Project units, develop their autonomy as problem solvers and lifelong learners.
At the end of this unit the students will be able to:
- Understand key drivers and trends currently shaping society
- Examine similarities and differences between Christianity and popular influences on society such as: post modernism, New Age spirituality, cosmology, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, genetic engineering, psychology etc
- Become familiar with analytical tools drawn from philosophy, science and linguistics
- Critically analyse media messages for underlying assumptions and values, and the impact of changes in communication and technology
- Compare and contrast the Australian identity with American national identity.
- Critique the influence of media on the shaping of public opinion on ethical issues e.g. euthanasia, war, terrorist, border protection, trade, Aboriginal rights, and immigration
- Articulate biblical responses to a range of current ethical, social justice and ecological issues
- Develop sensitivity in communicating a Christian worldview on ethical issues with different age groups and generation X and Y
- Utilise administrative, planning and organisational skills for working with and mentoring youth in Christian social and/or education contexts (such as youth group), together with extra-curricula demands, school functions and camps
- Reflect on matches and mismatches between beliefs and assumptions as a pre-service teacher and a novice practitioner and refine their craft as Christian educators
- Articulate strategies for the effective use of community, professionals and resources in rural and remote area schooling.
Trends and Drivers shaping the 21st century
- Current and predicted influences: social, cultural, political, environmental, economic, technological, educational or religious
- Media and mass communication. Global events coverage.
- Influence of Web 2.0 (blogs, YouTube, social spaces such as FaceBook)
- Convergence of technology (eg. mobile devices with phone, camera, video, internet access, GPS etc).
- Construction of identity:- Australian and American, generation X and Y, youth culture
- Similarities and differences between Christianity and popular influences on society such as:- post modernism, New Age spirituality, cosmology, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, genetic engineering, psychology etc
- Analytical tools: philosophy, science and linguistics.
- Self Knowledge: Examining matches and mismatches between core beliefs, assumptions and expectations prior to employment as a professional and in their current location
- Challenges in Christian education:- the role of Scripture, the role of relationships, the role of learning settings, the role of curriculum and assessment, the role of the hidden curriculum, the role of the supernatural, the role of prayer
- Shattered dreams: discouragement, self doubt, loss of confidence, troubled pupils, difficult staff, difficult parents, communication and challenging mindsets
- Self assessment tools; Teaching and Learning: Principles, Teacher’s Transformational Helix, NSW Institute of Teachers model
- Professional Portfolio: NSW Institute of Teachers Professional Competence content, static and web-based evidence management, performance appraisal
- Professional learning communities:- networking and mentoring, lifelong learning skills to maintain professionalism, service to the profession, advocacy, stress management and burn out.
Administration, Planning and Organisation
- Documentation, templates and record keeping, school policies
- Extra curricula involvement, in school, church and local community
- Novice administration responsibilities in:- rural and and remote communities, small Christian schools, non instructional duties, supervision of volunteers and paraprofessionals
- The challenge of small schools.
This course may be offered in the following formats
In the main, this unit will be delivered through on line discussion forums and web-based resources. The novice teachers will meet face to face at the outset of the unit in order to participate in the intensive which will also include issues which participants have identified during their teaching experience (survey). Participation by personnel from Special Relationship schools as well as SCC faculty will be encouraged to mentor and scaffold the novice teachers. Developing a network of a learning community that can be sustained beyond enrolment in the unit is desirable. Novice teachers will explore a critical perspective on the complex nature of schooling and the decisions that are at play in choosing faith-based schooling.
Assessment A (20%) On-line Forums Due Week 13
Weekly posts will be made on the unit with regard to topics emerging from the students own concerns and observations. Participation in a minimum of 4 on-line forums is required, although students are expected to benefit from regular communication with their ‘community.’
Assessment B (30%) 2,000 words Due Week 5
Using the Teacher’s Transformational Helix framework, or one of your own choosing, reflect on your role as a teacher and relationships with pupils, and how it has changed over time. Draw upon writers and researchers who have influenced you. Conclude your discussion highlighting the challenges that face Christian educators and your advice for prospective Christian teachers.
Assessment C (20%) 1000 words Due Week 8
According to research by Josh McDowell, 65% of Christian young people “either believe or suspect there’s no way to tell which religion is true.” McDowell further found that 48% suspect, “it does not matter what religious faith you follow because all faiths teach similar lessons.” [The Disconnected Generation, Word publishing, 2000, p.214.] McDowell believes such ideas are indicative of postmodern influences. If a young person were to make such statements to you, what words or key concepts would you choose to use in a response? Your answer should indicate the research and life’s experiences you have drawn upon.
Assessment D (30%) 2000 word essay Due Week 12
Rick Joyner once wrote, “The primary purpose of Christian education must never be to try and escape the world, but to shine His light into the world. We are not called to just show a better way, but The Way”, [Mobilizing the Army of God, Morning Star Publications, Charlotte, 1994, p80].
In response to the statement above, choose either,
1. Analyse this statement by discussing the current cultural context of Australian Christian education. What are some of the paradoxes and challenges that can divide and polarise Christian educators? Give particular consideration to the role of the media and its influence on this generation and the perception of Christian schooling.
2. Candidly and thoroughly examine your current desire, calling, and confidence, as a teacher, to be one who might show, ‘The Way’ in the world. In what ways have you in the past and in the present, or may you in the future, try to ‘escape the world’. Describe what factors would engender greater confidence in you to be one who would shine? Your answer should draw upon research of current trends and drivers in society.
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