Designing Formational Learning Experiences
During the first week of July, in response to the invitation to a better story, sixty teachers collaborated to design unit plans and formational student learning experiences. Surrey Christian School hosted these elementary and secondary teachers, and three instructors, for five days of intense learning and teaching.
Using the creation, fall, redemption, and restoration curriculum model provided teachers with a solid Biblical worldview on which to design units of learning. This inspired teachers to think about how faith-informed teaching and learning ought to produce faith-informed living. In other words, as a result being immersed in the biblical story, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, students ought to be able to explore and experience what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The learning experiences should influence their spiritual formation. Teachers developed a sensitivity about choices regarding learning activities, of where and when learning should happen, and of who could be involved in the learning. At the end of five days, teachers had designed at least three units which they can implement immediately in September. Teachers had this to say about their learning experience:
Just renaming a unit can change the focus!
Units need to be marinated in the biblical story.
I used to be prescribed-learning-outcomes driven, but now I’m story driven. And, guess what? I can still meet the requirements from Victoria.
I used to think I had to add God to my curriculum. I didn’t realize He was there all the time! I just didn’t see Him!
I used to be very skill focused. Now, it’s about the story.
The skills are used to get at the story.
I used to like working alone but I see how much richer my learning is working collaboratively and in community
A field experience can be anywhere! Just ask the right questions.
I wish I’d had this earlier.
Darryl De Boer, Vice Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, White Rock Christian Academy, Joanne den Boer, Director of Learning, Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia. Doug Monsma, Director of Learning, Prairie Centre for Christian Education