Monday, August 13, 2012

Education and Transformation

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” 
― Plutarch

Education is in the throws of the greatest change in decades.  The promise of the "computer" to become an educator is beginning to reap the promise it has held out since its earliest days.  But how that is happening might surprise you.  I remember years ago when the computer came on the scene and the teacher was expected to exit.  Well, that has not happened and will not in the near future.  But what has happened, as Daphne Koller tells us, is the ability of one teacher to teach 100,000 learners in one class.  Watch the video from below.  It is a window into the future of educational change.  Koller shares with us the amazing growth of, an online site for courses from major universities...and they are free!  It is well worth the 20 minutes.

But what I am more interested in is what is not being taught.  Skills and knowledge are needed to advance science and careers.  The computer age brings to us new and wonderful ways in which we can learn from some of the greatest minds teaching today...and its free!  But what it has not been able to do in any broad way is bring about spiritual transformation.  While I believe that the computer and online education can add to the process, it cannot be the process.  Spiritual transformation, at its simplest, is the process of spending time with Jesus so that Jesus will be part of us over time.  The danger that Christian education faces is one of emphasis not technique.  If Christian schools take advantage of this new age, and they should, without understanding the essence of Christian education as spiritual formation, they will develop highly educated and, maybe, morally sound men and women without spiritual backbone or connection. Christianity will slowly fade into the background to take its place as a "nice" belief without any of the revolutionary actions called upon by Jesus.

Knowledge and skills are essential.  But if we are to live out the Christian life as Jesus wants us to then we must surrender all and let Him build those skills and knowledge on the foundation of the transformed life.

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