Tag Archives: education

Teachers – experts in “head –knowledge” or good educators?

We have a problem in our educational systems. Today’s article in SVD and other daily papers: (here, here, and here) addresses the issue of formal education and the importance of having schooled teachers. Schooled which way? Schooled to do what? The formal university, theoretical knowledge based education, which produces experts in “head knowledge” possibly without the necessary skills to be able to relate and communicate to groups of people.

I do believe in the importance of having schooled personnel for the training and educating of new generations. BUT, we only seem to be focusing on a certain segment of society as we consider the needs… In my daily life I meet literally hundreds of people every month who because of many different reasons don’t fit our educational systems and they find themselves denied of that which we consider a human right in our time and day; namely education. There is a “övertro” – a hyped faith in our educational systems, which only recognize the formal aspects of education and cannot deal with the non-formal and informal aspects of education and forming.

Those who find themselves denied access to power in society develop for themselves a whole informal framework in which they operate with great skill and effectiveness. They value little the fruits of formal education because they understand instinctively that the whole system is designed to deny them access to real influence. It is this aspect of non-formal education, which has received little attention. The method you use to educate determines the goal group with which you work. The further you move into the realms of formal education the more ‘up market’ your goal group becomes. This is unavoidable. Therefore your choice of method in education actually reveals your value system. It reveals who you believe to be a priority group.

The down-playing of non-formal and informal education by lack of recognizing (and accreditation) within our systems closes the door to many people who might be much better teachers than those educated in our limited and stream-lined systems which give no room for people not accredited by our system but whose teaching abilities, experiences and personalities might make tremendous differences in the lives of the students.

This problem is an overall educational problem and we find this in many different spheres of education, both in secular as well as in the theological educational systems. We cannot train teachers, or for that sake pastors, leaders by (over) emphasizing the formal aspects of education. Throughout the world there is “hunger” for alternative education that gives room (and acknowledgement) for apprenticeship, out of the classroom experiences and non-formal and informal aspects of training. It is about time for us to make room for alternative ways to educate and acknowledge teachers; because formal educational forms streamline and secure maintenance rather than creativity.

That’s the Way I see it!

John

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The Swedish attitude towards the “entrepreneurial spirit” hinders us from the planting of new churches!

I read an article in last Sunday’s SVD under the business and economy section, Linda Skugge quoted Signhild Arnegård Hansen who stated that the attitude of Swedes hinders many from becoming entrepreneurs.

I will not confuse the planting of new churches with business endeavors, but this article confirmed something that I have been fighting against for many years; the fear many Swedes have, both Christian and non-Christian alike for insecurity and instability especially in the financial area of their lives.

I have literally met hundreds of people throughout my years in Sweden who expressed to me the calling and desire to be pioneers and church planters. However, few of them have actually become involved in ministry in these areas.

There are a number of reasons for that… one of the main reasons that I see after having talked with many of them is the unwillingness to make sacrifices. Many of them would be interested to be involved in a church plant or pioneering ministry IF THEY WERE EMPLOYED!

I suspect that the overwhelming majority of our potential pioneers and entrepreneurs are brought to slumber and cuddled to death within our anti-entrepreneurial church environment and society.

Another reason for the quenching of the entrepreneurial spirit is found in the educational modes within our Bible schools and theological institutions which prepare and equip teachers and (maybe) hopefully pastors, but surely not prophets, evangelists and apostles. In these organizations and institutions little attention is given to the development of leadership and the release of entrepreneurs… If you ask me (who is?) we have a whole lot of equipping and releasing to do in the Church to catch up to the challenges of the 21st century. We have a whole lot to learn and to sacrifice if we ever want to regain the kind of pioneering spirit which exploded in tremendous missionary and church planting endeavors within our nation and beyond as found in our rich and courageous history within the Swedish churches!

That’s the Way I see it!

John van Dinther