Teaching for Transformation
In order to take the Alberta Curriculum and infuse a Christian Worldview throughout all we are learning at school we use a program called "Teaching For Transformation"
Teaching for Transformation as developed by the Prairie Centre for Christian Education (PCCE) provides a framework for the development of authentic and integral Christian learning experiences that are grounded in a transformational worldview with a focus on the Biblical story. Teaching for Transformation helps teachers develop a foundational understanding for the topics that they teach and help them truly teach for the transformation of our students.
There are 3 major practices within Teaching for Transformation:
Throughline, Storyline, and FLEx (Formational Learning Experiences)
What are Throughlines?
Through-lines are Big Picture ideas around which curriculum is developed.. Through-lines are qualities/ characteristics that we desire students to develop as God is revealed to them in all things. They are discipleship concepts that guide our living. These characteristics describe how we can become part of the restoration of creation. They answer “How NOW shall I live?” Through-lines weave the big ideas into a transformational worldview.
The Importance of Throughlines
Through-lines hold the unit together. Biblical Through-lines become the “thematic Velcro” that connect and organize the many facts, skills, and experiences from each unit and subject together. For example, after a study of Canada’s immigration policies, students might be very knowledgeable about immigration laws and know facts about immigration history. However, if this is where learning stops, it is inadequate because it is lacking “thematic Velcro” and does not address the question “How now shall I live?” The learning would consist of forgettable facts or meaningless knowledge and not necessarily relate to real people or situations in the student’s own community. Conversely, if the learning is thematically ”Velcro-ed” to the Biblical Through-lines of Justice-seeking and Community-building, it is hoped that the learning will be formational rather than just informational.
Every classroom in our school has a thematic statement for their classroom. For example, in grade 6 students spend the year being "Eager to do what is good". This storyline comes out during classroom lessons, activities, and helps support students in their Christian walk. Students regularly reflect and think about how they can make a difference in the world.
Formational Learning Experiences are opportunities for students to take what they have been doing in class and use them out in the real world to solve real problems. For example, our junior high class goes to Edmonton annually to learn about homelessness and poverty at the Mustard Seed and help support the clients there. Our grade 2 class has also spent time raising money and teaching the rest of the student body about water issues in Africa.