Christian education for children: An experiment in embodiment of faith
MiKyong Park, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, United States
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary . Awarded
How do we Christian educators help children live their lives holistically? The purpose of this study is to address this question and to examine a method for children and Christian families in Korea to form Christian faith through daily rituals at home. Using participant observation and focus group interviews, I examined what the children and parents said and felt in their daily lives through the learning sessions and focus group interviews.
Successful children's education depends on knowing, who children are and how they learn. Developmental theories show that they need concrete and integrated learning with cognitive and affective dimensions, since children resolve problems using concrete operational thinking.
Why do they not live their lives according to Jesus' teaching? It is because there is no connection between their lives and faith stories. Ritual helps children to connect faith stories to their life stories. Through daily rituals, they meet faith stories in their lives, as ritual becomes a moment of transformation and habituation for faithful practices. Using multiple intelligences is also powerful to enable children's learning by linking cognitive with affective dimensions. In order to enhance children's holistic transformation, in addition, Christian families and the community of faith must be partners.
Several themes emerged from children's learning sessions and parents' group interviews: children' identity as new beings in faith and beloved children of God; the community of faith as the body of Christ; for the sake of humanity, we need to learn to live together, focusing on equality and cooperation among individuals; moreover, we must be willing to reach out to our neighbors; empowerment of parents for children's faith education; intensify the partnership between the community of faith and the family.
This study is a resource for educators, Christian parents, and lay leaders in the church. This work will trigger further research in Christian education for all generations.
Park, M. Christian education for children: An experiment in embodiment of faith. Ph.D. thesis, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or https://dissexpress.umi.com