Monday, October 24, 2011

What Does Mathematics, Character Development, and a Christian Worldview all Have in Common?

Abigail Adams, the wife of the second U.S. President John Adams once said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”  This quote is a good summary of the events, which took place last week at BHM.  150 of Haiti’s teachers and leaders were here October 17 - 21.  Many months of planning and preparation were done to make this event possible.

The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) put on a conference for some teachers and leaders from a variety of Haitian schools.  The theme of this conference was, “A Recipe for an Effective Christian School.”  The special subject focus for the conference was mathematics, requested by the teachers and leaders.

Speakers from the U.S. and Canada traveled to Haiti to lead this conference.  Head educators in Haiti also lead some sessions throughout the conference.  Christian educators in Haiti and all over the world who teach in public schools use public curriculum.  The entire program in ACSI is to train teachers to think through their curriculum from a Christian worldview.  Throughout the week the teachers and leaders were taught that their personal life as well as professional life must be lived through a Christian worldview.  This is not only important for the teachers but also for their students.

The teachers have a huge opportunity to make a long lasting impact on their current students.  How are the teachers training their students to think Biblically?  How do you teach math with a Christian worldview?  Connie Mycroft, who was assisting with administration for the conference says, “The goal of ACSI is not to ‘devotionalize’ mathematics.  Rather, to train the teacher to marvel at the order of God and to teach the students that nothing happens by chance but is all orchestrated by the Creator.”
There was a great amount of Character molding that occurred this past week.  Pray that this change does not stop now that the teachers have left the conference.  Pray they carry the truths and principles to their students and their home.  Tuesday afternoon Joyce O. Baker, Associate Director for Academic Advancement with ACSI, had the teachers divide into groups to work through a math worksheet.
The purpose of this exercise was to stress to the teachers that they were to work in such a way that no one was left behind.  They could not move forward to the next problem until everyone in their group understood and agreed.  This was a new and exciting experience for many of the teachers.  Working in groups and a variety of other sessions taught the teachers a great deal about themselves as well as the students they interact with on a daily basis.
We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with great organizations like ACSI.  Continue to pray for the teachers and leaders of Haiti.  They have a huge mission field and we are so encouraged by their desire to teach Biblically.  As Abigail Adams said, learning is not attained by chance.  Pray the teachers and leader’s continue to train with diligence.  

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