Institute for Christian Teaching
Education Department of Seventh-day
A COURSE DEVELOPMENT PLAN ON
THE INTEGRATION OF FAITH,
VALUES, AND LEARNING
Department of Education
Antillean Adventist University
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Prepared for the
International Faith and Learning
Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska,
124-93 Institute for
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904, USA
Seventh-day Adventists have
intended that faith be integrated into the learning of every discipline.
Unfortunately, this is not always easy, and in some instances Adventist
educators say they find it very difficult to know how to integrate their faith
into the teaching of their specific discipline. It seems that faith has been
used as a cosmetic, patchwork, or frosting, sandwiched in the teaching-learning
process. It is not enough to have prayer meetings, opening class with prayer,
participation in evangelistic teams, a Bible class, distribution of tracts, a
few committed teachers, and choice snippets on the bulletin boards. Because of
this incomplete and superficial application of faith in education, "the
school is deficient in 'moral power'" (Akers, 1977, p. 8). What is needed
is a biblical dimension in all aspects of school life.
What is integration of faith,
values, and learning? How can it be achieved? This paper addresses these
questions through a course development plan for preservice and inservice
preparation of teachers at all levels.
According to particular needs
and situations of a given institution, the course can be presented in different
ways: (1) as a three credit semester course, (2) as two credit semester
courses, (3) as modules or seminars. All of the above having Church Doctrine
and Philosophy of Education courses as prerequisites.
Christian Education is peculiar
in that the Christian faith can touch the entire range of life and learning to
which a Christian school exposes students. Knight (1985) concurs:
Why have Seventh-day Adventist schools?
Why do Adventists spend millions of dollars each year to support approximately
five thousand schools around the world when free public education is often
available? The answers to such questions have of necessity a link to the
purpose of Adventist education. If Adventist schools serve a sufficiently
distinctive and important purpose, the achievement of that purpose is worth
their cost. (p. 47)
The Christian perspective aims
to lead the student in a saving relationship with Christ. White (1909) states:
"the work of education and the work of redemption are one" (p. 30).
Holmes (1975) believes that "in principle Christian perspectives are
all-redeeming and all-transforming, and it is this which gives rise to the idea
of integrating faith with learning" (p. 45). According to Gaebelein (1968)
"integration is the brining together of the parts into the whole". He
suggests that the Bible provides unity to the curriculum. Rasi (1993) defines
integration of faith and learning as:
A deliberate and systematic process of
approaching the entire educational enterprise from a biblical perspective. Its
aim is to ensure that students, under the influence of Christian teachers and
by the time they leave school, will freely internalize biblical values and a
view of knowledge, life, and destiny that is Christ-centered, service-oriented,
In other words, integration is
needed in every aspect of the school program with the biblical worldview. Rasi
(1993) quotes Olthius in explaining the meaning of worldview as:
A framework or set of fundamental beliefs
through which we view the world and our calling and future in it...It is the
integrative and interpretative framework by which order and disorder are judged,
the standard by which reality is managed and pursued. (p. 1)
Knight (1985) points out
"the problem is not of injecting Christian elements into an existing
curriculum, but rather the Christianization of the entire school program"
Integration must take place in
different levels: teacher, subject, and beyond the classroom (Holmes, 1975;
Gaebelein, 1968). The teacher is the key element in the process of integration.
Values are best transmitted by the contagious example of the teacher. An educator
that has a genuine Christian worldview will focus on a personal growth with
Christ leading to redemption. He or she will be concerned with integrating every
subject with mission and goals of the institution, and with the biblical
perspective. Akers (1978) points out,
A faculty that is consciously and
deliberately involved in God's one unified reality, with no
compartmental-izations who really 'has it all together' in God can effect an
integration of faith and learning that is natural and believable and potently
effective. (p. 9)
Integration must extend from
teacher to subjects. Educational experiences offered by Adventist and
non-Adventist schools are fragmented. Classes are taught without any specific
and common objectives in which all collaborate. Although there may be general
objectives, fragmentation occurs and students suffer. As a result they develop
a fragmented view of education, knowledge and reality. Puerto Rico's public
school system has sought to do something about this fragmentation, integrating
in the curriculum values of dignity and solidarity, among others. The Random
House Dictionary of the English Language (1987) defines these concepts as
follows: (1) dignity--"nobility or elevation of character,
worthiness." (2) Solidarity--"community of feeling, purpose...
community of responsibilities and interests." Dignity can be clarified by
the following synonyms: dedication, courage, effort, thoroughness and
responsibility. Solidarity can be described by love, kindness, obedience,
honesty, fulfilled promises, and service. Adventist education can also
integrate these values in the curriculum through the teacher's example and by
including them in the lesson plans.
Integration of faith, values,
and learning can take place beyond the classroom. According to Holmes (1975),
A community, be it family or church or
college, is perhaps the single most powerful influence in shaping a person's
values. It is therefore of major importance that we shape that community well.
The challenge of Christian education
is to cooperate with God in presenting his Son as the integrating element
through which man can be redeemed and restored. Thus it is imperative that
every aspect of Christian education--the teacher, the subject and the
experience beyond the classroom reflect Christ.
Christian teachers can
integrate faith, values, and learning in their disciplines using as a framework
the Bible. From this context seven beliefs are posited: (1) God is the ultimate
reality (Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:28),
and knowledge are revealed through nature and the Word of God (Psalms 19:1;
Hebrew 4:12), (3) God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27), (4) Man sinned
and God's creation was marred (Genesis 2:17; 3:8-19), (5) Through Christ there
is redemption and restoration (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-10), (6) God will
restore his creation creating new heavens and earth (Isaiah 65:17), (7) We are
commissioned to spread the gospel (Mark 16:15). These principles can help the
teacher as a reference for planning and integrating the curriculum with the
At the end of the course on
Integration of Faith, Values, and Learning students will:
the meaning and importance of integrating faith, values, and learning.
faith and values in the teaching-learning process of their level of teaching to
achieve a holistic education.
the study this course students will be able to:
Give the biblical
foundation for integrating faith and learning.
how the vicarious experience can be used in different subjects to develop
values and attitudes.
Bible to identify important themes or concepts that should be taught as part of
contrast of secular humanism, and relative values with theism and absolute
literature on the topic to have resources that will help the student in the
process of integration.
meaning of the holistic education.
example of ways to achieve a holistic education.
examples on ways to integrate faith, and ethical values at different levels:
teacher, students, grade, subjects, and beyond the classroom.
points of tension between Christianity and current practices in secular
examples on ways in which the school can provide opportunity to involve
students in stewardship in all aspects of life.
ways in which the teacher's example and method affect the integration process.
lesson plans that indicate how concepts of faith and values will be integrated
into the specific discipline.
One: A theoretical framework
of the following concepts: worldview, philosophy, holistic education, values
(relative and absolute, moral and social), curriculum, and integration vs
philosophies: idealism, realism, humanism (including secular humanism),
existentialism, theism, and philosophy of discipline of teaching (example:
philosophy of science)
Seventh-day Adventist vision of education
foundation and perspective
section on philosophy
Akers, & Moon, 1980
of knowledge and principles to evaluate and distinguish what is good (1 Thess.
5:21; 2 Tim. 2:15)
of noble thoughts (Phil. 4:8)
of good works habits (Eccl. 9:10)
and maintaining principles that lead to good health (1 Cor. 6:19,20)
Christian understanding to living victoriously (Matthew 5-6; Romans 7-8, and
knowledge of God with others (1 Peter 3:15)
love for others, as well as for oneself based on an understanding of God's love
one's abilities to the maximum potential (Matthew 25:14-20)
of Christian education
SDA Curriculum Framework
aim: leading to a saving relationship with God
aims: character development, development of a Christian mind, and job
aim: service to God and man both here and in the world to come
Qualifications and role of the
in harmony with God's will
growing in mental development and in keeping up in his/her field
companionship with students in their work and play
Role: An agent of salvation
(Parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son- Luke 9; 15)
Nature of the student
Created in God's image
between man and the animal world (Man reasons from cause to effect. He has the
responsibility of choice.)
traits: Love and rationality
b. Stewards of
How to be
Marred by the fall
(1) Alienation and separation from
Controversy between good and evil
Redemption and restoration of man
process with the help of the Holy Spirit: self-examination, confession of sin,
and reliance upon God's righteousness.
Man as a whole unit (Gen. 2:17)
Jesus as a model: balance between
spiritual, social, physical, and mental (Luke 2:52)
Importance of individuality (I
Discussion of secularization of
modern Christian education/points of tension between Christianity and current
practices in secular schools
of Valuegenesis effectiveness factors for the school and research findings on
what contributes to high faith maturity
of criteria of excellence for a school
Two: Translation theory into practice
philosophy or worldview of education
examples how worldviews affect the teacher, the student, the curriculum and
instruction, and the community
literature on integration of faith, values, and learning to identify resources
and skills that will help the student in the process of integration (See
selected bibliography, and video series on Integration of Faith and
how the vicarious experience can be used in different subjects to develop
values and attitudes
of vicarious experience--identifying oneself with other peoples' experiences
(Akers, & Moon, 1980, pp. 26-28):
as a storyteller--The History teacher makes the class exciting with stories,
has an opportunity to share a witnessing experience.
uses open-ended stories so that the student can decide and write an ending
participate in field trips to see the results of sin and to observe the
redeeming service of the mission in the lives of those who accept Christ.
(for student growth toward holistic development) the partnership of:
F. Discuss and apply methods of
integrating faith, values, and learning for holistic development of the student
at the following levels:
and community level (administrative, extracurricular activities, parents and
level (teacher and student)
effective ways to integrate faith, learning and values at different school
levels: elementary, secondary, and college
and give feedback of integration in different subjects (for these areas see
Akers, & Moon, 1989; General Objectives for Elementary and Secondary
schools; and Krawthwohl's, 1968 five levels of affective domain):
1. Mathematics--Examples of mathematical
concepts leading to spiritual applications
probability of evolution
2. Science--Examples of the study of science with a Christian
perspective to understand God and His creation
God's creation and the laws that govern it
collect materials that show design and beauty to both small and large objects
are encouraged to spend time in nature and relate to God
consider ethical issues, such as, pollution, genetic engineering, population control,
study plant and animal growth. They can perform gardening experiments. These
studies will be related to laws of reproduction.
3. Language Arts--Examples in which
reading and communication can be related to the Christian perspective:
material that highlights moral value
for selecting good reading materials (see GC's guidelines for the teaching of
of meaningful topics for writing assignments
4. Health and
Physical Education--Examples of teaching that our bodies belong to God, and
that recreation makes the student more capable of serving God and mankind
that stress competition and cooperation
of Prophecy's support or recent research
Drugs as an
escape from reality
God's plan for the family
5. History and Social Sciences--Examples
in which the study of history reveals the conflict between good and evil:
influence of Christ on human history
events that fulfill Bible prophecy
criteria in assessing the motives of men and women who have influenced
locations and work of mission stations
man's life in different geographic locations
that affected the church at a given time
6. Art and Music--Examples of the spiritual nature of art and
of Christian criteria for critiquing arts forms and music
effects of art and music
of Christian songs and secular music
influence of religion on art and music
I. Evaluate student outcomes in a
J. Discuss the issue of value
clarification and the Bible as a criteria
cooperative learning groups
school and interview student, teachers, administrators on worldviews
and report on outcomes of Christian education (a mini-ethnography is an option)
Knight, G. (1989). Philosophy &
Education: An introduction in Christian perspective. MI: Andrews University
also selected bibliography
assessment on worldview
drafts: beginning, middle, and end of the course.
in specialty area integrating the Christian perspective
of instructional materials
presentation on how to achieve integration of faith and learning in four
levels: teacher, student, specialty area (choose one subject and school level),
institution, and community.
Journal on assigned and supplementary readings
reference on the top or first lines
summary and opinion
A note to the teacher
process of integration of faith, values, and learning can be initiated only
through the work of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. By using the
biblical perspective in every one of our disciplines can we offer an education
that will make man whole.
Akers, G. H. (December 1977). The Measure
of a school, The Journal of Adventist Education, 40 (2), 7-9;
Akers, G. H., Moon, R. D. (April-May,
1980). Integrating learning, faith and practice in Christian education, The
Journal of Adventist Education, 42 (4), 17-32; 17-31.
Asociociņn General de Los Adventistas del
Septimo dīa, Departamento de Educaciōn (1992). Guias curriculares para la
ensenanza secundaria adventista. Silver Springs, MD: Instituto de Education
Beach, W. R. (August 20-27). Language
study and the world concept of the church. Official Report of the
Quadrennial council for Higher Education, pp. 212.
Blamires, H. (1988). Recovering the
Christian mind. Downer's Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.
Beck, D. W., ed. (1991). Opening the
American mind: The integration of biblical truth in the curriculum of the
University. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Co.
Chase, G. B. (1983). Bibliography of
Christianity and Mathematics. Sioux Centery, IA: Dordt College Press.
Chewning, R. C. (1990). Business
through the eyes of faith. San Francisco: Harper and Row.
Fanderich, A. R. (1993). The integration
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comp. Christ in the classroom. Silver Springs, MD: Institute for
Christian Teaching, 7, 55-74.
Gaebelein, F. E. (1963). The Patern of
God's Truth: Problems of integration in Christian education. Chicago: Moody
Hannun, H. B. (1975). The Christian
search for beauty: A review of the relationship of the arts, particularly
music, to the principles of Christianity. Nashville, TN: Southern
Holmes, A. F. (1975). The idea of a
Christian college. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Holmes, A. F. (1983). Contours of a
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Homes, L. R. (Summer 1972) Values in
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_____. (1989). Philosophy in
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