The Worldview Issues that Influence Curriculum Decisions in Public Educationadmin / January 15, 2019
As Josh McDowell said in preface to book by David Noebel and Chuck Edwards (2002), “We are now living in not just a post-Christian culture, but an anti-Christian culture” (p. 2). This statement can be applied to the curriculum decisions in modern public school as well. “The educational system in the West has progressively replaced the biblical foundation with belief in evolution as ‘truth’.
This system trains the leaders—teachers, judges, media operators, politicians, etc. These leaders then set the social agenda, which gradually becomes written into law” (Manthei, 1998, p. 26). Every person has its own worldview. It is formed through education, certain set of beliefs and attitudes to life.
The purpose of Biblical worldview is to live in harmony with the world and society. The prime goal of education is to guide future adults and prepare them for life (Van Brumelen, 2002, p. 41). The application of Biblical worldview in education can help greatly in achieving this goal and create friendly and positive learning environment.
Curriculum based on the Biblical worldview takes the seven virtues that should guide everyone’s life as its basics. Such a worldview not only creates a “comprehensive framework of basic convictions about life” (Van Brumelen, 2002, p. 58), it also helps building a “people-centered” curriculum.
The aim of such curriculum is to explain students the purpose of human beings, how to fight against evil and work for restoration. It also aims at motivating students to support each other and not to lose hope in future, restore friendship, love and justice.
It regulates the flow of curriculum in a way to promote cooperation and mutual aid among students, develop student’s responsibility, courage, patience, self-control and other values. Thus, a Biblical worldview influences on curriculum in a way to assist the achievement of school’s primary tasks: maximize human potential, develop necessary skills and nurture respect for others.
One of the most important roles in developing curriculum belongs to teacher, “Teacher is one who controls curriculum in class” (Van Brumelen, 2002, p. 56). Many responsibilities lie on his/her shoulders. However, before planning a curriculum, teacher should evaluate himself/herself. Does he/she have necessary traits of character? What is he/she going to teach? How he/she is going to teach?
According to Van Brumelen (2002), the teacher who is going to make a Biblically oriented curriculum should remember that everything has purpose and effect; one should practice sanctity of human life and not give preferences to any student and, at the same time, take every student as an individual because as Shelby Steel said, “whenever you give someone a preference, you discriminate against someone else”.
To teach values and create friendly and supportive environment during the lesson is also one of the most important tasks of every teacher.
A Biblical worldview has one more important impact on curriculum. It requires from teacher a definite approach to the choice of literature and course books.
As curriculum material cannot be neutral, teacher should understand a philosophical position of a certain source of information. Some textbooks can contain errors and wrong facts, some books use irrelevant photographs, experiments and incorrect scientific facts. Many books give an incorrect insight into the material. All these things should be considered and corrected by a teacher.
There is a number of worldview issues that influence on curriculum decisions in public schools. These issues are related to Biblical worldview that presupposes building a curriculum based on virtues that promotes positive environment in class and help students live in harmony with society.
Manthei, D. (1998). Two worldviews in conflict: Evolution is absolutely opposed to the Bible. Creation. 20 (4), 26–27
Noebel, D., Edwards, C., (2002). Thinking like a Christian: understanding and living a biblical worldview. Nashville: B&H Publishing Company.
Van Brummelen, H. (2002). Steppingstones to curriculum: a biblical path (second edition). Colorado: Colorado Springs.