Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Question for my Christian Brothers and Sisters:

How does your faith relate to your education?
Your answer can be a past, present, or future perspective from your own life.

More questions to help you process:
How does it affect your view on learning, what is it's end purpose?
How does it impact your choice in choosing to continue your education and in what?
How does it refine your approach to learning, how does it affect your understanding of the means to the end?
How would your goal, purpose, and approach to education change if your life was void of your faith?

This question is a continuation from my previous question about how your faith and job relate. Please contribute your thoughts on that post as well if you missed it.

A little background on my purpose behind this series of questions: The series grew out of a desire to understand how Christians with different from different contexts understand the relationship and application of their faith to different areas of their life.

I greatly appreciate your participation!


Matt and Lindy said...

Well, I guess to start off with, if I wasn't a Christian, I wouldn't have gone to seminary. I guess that goes without saying. Before seminary, I was studying physics and math...but God gave me an unsettled feeling in my heart that I just couldn't do those things for a career, because there was not much promise for direct involvement with people for the purposes of ministering to them. I mean, I know that you can minister to people no matter the profession, but that built-in interaction was lacking. In the end, I pursued seminary because I wanted to know things...not get a degree, I actually didn't care much about that. Now, though, I'm in a Masters in Teaching program...that one, I have to admit, is more for the degree. Even though I really care about teaching and teaching well, I know that I need this to get a job. Which I think is lame. Education should be about learning. I honestly believe that in many contexts education has less to do with really learning...and more to do with becoming "certified." Part of me wishes we could return to the really old system of doing college, where you are producing real, scholarly works while you are in school and having a real opportunity to think creatively...a lot of the time in our current system that gets lost in busy work and jumping through hoops.

Anna said...

Christianity puts education in perspective for me. I got a bachelor's in engineering, and I've been exposed to a fair amount of the common attitude that your intelligence and education is what really matters about you. It's easier for me to resist that thinking because my Christian theology helps me identify that no, what really matters about you is not that you are smart or know a lot, but that you love a lot. It helps me appreciate why God makes people with Down's Syndrome; it helps me pull away from that underlying urge to think that I'm better than other people because I'm smarter than them. (It also helps me feel less jealous of other people when they are smarter than me.) Humility.

On the other hand, Christianity also makes me appreciate how much a good education can add to a person, too, and I see decisions about education - what major to pursue, whether to go at all, what kind of work to put into it - as all being the kinds of choices that Jesus leads individual people to make according to his plan for their lives, if they listen.

In a more specific sense... my faith is somewhat indirectly responsible for my decision to try out homeschooling my kids this summer. I was listening to the catholic radio station when I heard a statistic that said that homeschooled kids, on average, score around the 70th to 80th percentile on standardized tests. (Or something like that). That was the first time I started taking the idea of homeschooling really seriously.