Culture And Christian Education
In the age of globalization, there is an increase of cross cultural situations. There have been clashes between culture and Christian education in many societies throughout history. The goal of Christian educators in the 21st century is to learn how they can cross over cultural barriersso as to plant the gospel education in nay other native soil apart from where they are from. Thereare always general attempts to reach everyone and no one particularly. Once there is a specific culture set in Christian education then it will mean that some people will be excluded. The paper will look at some of the cross cultural perspectives when it comes to Christian education.it will look at how Christian education can be done and the development of curriculum cross culturally.
Cross-cultural curriculum is a channel of communication and a well developed plan for making connections and experiences. We are dealing with cross cultural interaction but not lone individuals therefore when developing a cross cultural curriculum in Christian education there is need to put into consideration education within a community as well as a learning process.
There are so many cultures that exist in the world today. There is a lot of cultural diversity everywhere in the world. When we talk of Christian education and culture a thought that comes to mind is the age old problem that has been in existence between culture and Christ. Culture is described as human life within society and therefore culture and social existence go hand in hand. Culture is also termed as a construct of human activity that includes speech,education,myth,tradition,science,phylosphy,law,art,rites,invetions,beliefs and technologies. Culture is always in process and not static. This implies that culture changes as the society changes. Culture is not given but it is passed on to future generations who will then acton it, handed on but not in a state that is static. Therefore change is something that is inevitable. When Christian education confronts culture then there will be the occurrence of change in both culture and Christian education (Angus,2005)
Christian education means different things to differentpeople, to some it may be religious instruction, the transmission of knowledge and practices of Christian faith .there are those who see Christian education as a process of socializing or a socialization process that highlights how people can be part of a community of faith. Christian education can also be termed as personal development that is rooted in developmental theory that emphasizes nurture. Christian education can be termed as tasks and expressions of the Christian ministry that help people to learn the story of Christ, both ancient and present, develop skills they need to act out their faith, reflect on that story so as to live self-aware to its truth and nurture the sensitivities needed in living together as a community in a covenant.Therefore, cross culturally Christian education is about these tasks and expressions within the context of the culture. The specific forms of these tasks may appear different as they are expressed in different cultures (Angus, 2005).
Cross culture Christian education
The question that arises is how Christian education can be done cross culturally.it is only in recent times that Christian education has began to be examined in terms of cross-cultural issues. Church scroll teachers are also faced with similar challenges like those of public school teachers when they have classes with students from different cultural backgrounds from their own. Thesestudents have different experiences; they might not share the same similar values attitudes and may give very different interpretations to the explanations given by teachers than as compared to those by other students in the class. Cross cultural perspectives when it comes t Christian education involves a consideration of principles and practices which give an effective teaching for all the members of any group especially where there exist diverse cultures.
True multicultural Christian education is based on changed attitudes of individuals attitudes as they are interacting with one another.it can be found in relationships that are based on acceptance and appreciation for the existing individual differences and in the desire of representing a unified family of God. Multiculturalism is often used during the application of cross-cultural perspectives in education. However, there are still some arguments during the past century on the definition of the concept. The goal of multicultural Christian education is embodiment of a system of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors which recognize and respect presence of individuals from their diverse groups, acknowledge the values which they hold, their differences and offer inclusive context which gives empowerment to all members of the church in order for them to be encouraged and enable them make personal contributions to the Christ’s society.
Programs in local churches which are truly cross-cultural in their approach areviewed as processes that affect the structural organization of the churches, give direction to instructional strategies and change personal values within the members of the congregation. These programs go beyond boundaries of local church. The purpose of multicultural Christian education is the provision of a wide scope and fair representation of the world surrounding (Cole,2005).
Cross cultural sensitivity is quite important when it comes to warranting its own vision, mission,goal and statements. There is need to be consistent with general statements for overall church ministry as well as with specific statements when it comes to Christian education. There are several objectives when it comes to cross-cultural Christian education. These objectives assist local churches in the development of an approach which is more inclusive when it comes to educational ministries.
These objectives include developing an increase in the awareness of Cultural diversity. Local churches should ensure that they make the congregation aware of the cultural diversity that exists. This will enable the congregation to be open and accommodate other cultural views that are in existence. This will help them in their interactions with other members of the congregation and hence easy for the church to impart Christian education in them. The other objective is to assess practices and attitudes within the church that are ethnocentric in nature. This will make sure that there are no practices and attitudes in the church that are biased. With minimal or no ethnocentric attitudes and practices then people will be free with each other and hence more interactions. Another objective is to encourage interethnic relationships that are positive within the church and the entire community (Cole, 2005).Positive interethnic relationship means that people will interact freely and share the gospel in an environment that is free. Another objective is to develop cross-cultural skills when it comes to teaching-learning setting and intercultural education. The entire church should be empowered with cross cultural skills when it comes to both teaching and learning. With these skills it will be easy for both the teachers and students to understand each other in process of learning Christian education regardless of their cultural beliefs. Another objective is to encourage parents to encourage their children to appreciate and value the existing diversity inothers. Thismeansthat when children interact with others during Sunday school they will be bale to appreciate the diversity in others and thus interact well in the classes. Therefore the teachers should always make sure that they communicate a biblical world view and have conversations to Christ and not culture. They should also ensure that they inspire students from different cultural societies to learn scriptures.
Angus,E.(2005).Cross-cultural Christian education curriculum development. Retrieved October 7,2013 from http://old.religiouseducation.net/member/01_papers/angus.pdfCole,M.(2005).Cross-cultural and historical perspectives on developmental consequences of education. Retrieved October 7,2013 from http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/MCole/humdev.pdf