Nimble

When I was an academic dean I would tell my faculty,

Nimble

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“We have to be nimble.”

We know:

In light of our ever-changing educational climate, I have emphasized that teaching the tools of lifelong learning is my focus as a Christian educator.

Expanding on the idea of tools, Scriptural examples of education focus on a Spirit-directed (Acts 13:1-3; 16:6-10), blended model:

(1) face-to-face interaction during the discipleship process (Acts 18:1-11; Rom 15:22-24),

(2) an available company of visiting leader-teachers (Acts 19:21-22; Titus 3:12-14),

(3) a collaborative, interdependent cohort of learners (Rom 16:1-16; Col 4:10-17),

(4) with epistolary (distance) communication to enhance further learning (1 Co 16:21; Gal 6:11),

(5) providing exhortation-encouragement educational feedback (2 Co 13:1-14; 1 Thess 1:2-10),

(6) using the cultural tools available for travel and teaching (Acts 18:18-23; 19:8-10),

(7) contextualizing teaching-learning for an audience (Acts 16:1-5; 1 Cor 9:19-23),

(8) curricula passed on, a standard of knowledge (1 Co 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6),

(9) innovative, creative, interrelational learning (Acts 14:8-18; 15:22-35; 1 Cor 3:1-9), and

(10) all within a climate of discovery scholarship (Acts 17:11; 18:24-28).

Being nimble does not preclude being stable.

During one of my faculty in-services I encouraged our mindset:

  1. Institutional Commitment Focused on guiding principles, vision, and mission: who we are says what we do
  2. Intellectual Character Focused on academic rigor—knowledge transforms teacher then student
  3. Instructional Clarity Focused on methodological variety for creative communication
  4. Integrational Content Focused on interdisciplinarity of coursework through a biblical mindset
  5. Intentional Conduct Focused on classroom planning of institutional objective for each teaching hour

Christian educational institutions must stand on a firm philosophy of teaching while adjusting to the ever-changing horizon of 21st century learning.

It seems the 1st century has already set the standard for being nimble.

Dr. Mark Eckel nimbly teaches, writes, and speaks on educational issues.

 

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