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CS Lewis once wrote “you cannot practice any of the other virtues without bringing this one into play…it is the form of every virtue at the testing point.  Honest thinking ….  the courage to challenge frightening ideas and the courage to stick to your guns when you become convinced of the truth.”

 

Dow explains that “those who are intellectually courageous earnestly want to know the truth, and so they take risks in the pursuit of truth. They are willing to reconsider their own beliefs even if this scares them.” (p28)

“Our intellectual character influences our lives just as moral character does, and with at least as much force…… In a very real sense the quality of our intellectual character even trumps moral character in terms of its power to direct the course of our lives” (Virtuous Minds* p22.)

 

Making choices and decisions are fundamental to everyday life. These decisions range from the relatively insignificant to life altering decisions about career, family, school choices for our children or where to live. In the ebb and flow of daily life large numbers of these decisions are made almost automatically without deep thought or discussion, and many of our decisions are driven by emotion, which is often subconscious (p123).

“concern with truth is the heart of virtuous intellectual character. It is what gives rise to intellectual virtues like reflectiveness, attentiveness, fairmindedness, intellectual carefulness and courage” (Virtuous Minds*, p13 )

 

Can you imagine what our world would be like if everyone accepted that ‘all truth is relative’ and that it is okay for ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ to be diametrically opposed? Doesn’t this idea contradict the actual definition of truth?

Have you ever given serious thought to what sort of people you hope your school will produce? Whether you are a school leader, a teacher or a parent, do you have an expectation that the school you are working in or sending your children to will do more than teach their students to read and write and pass exams? Are schools just places to prepare students for their life in the workforce and community or should they contribute to the formation of character? If schools have a broader function than exam preparation what might this look like?

“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things He had done…” Judges 2:10

Who are the history keepers in your family? My great Aunt Jess (1887- 1973) was the custodian of a small wooden cylinder, containing two smaller gold nuggets, to which she...

RELATIONAL PEDAGOGY: A Biblical Basis

By John Shortt

John Shortt has just made his first trip to Australia to speak at the Anglican EdComm Christians in Teaching Conference 2015. Below is a paper based on a talk that John gave at the EurECA Conference in June 2014. We thank John for his willingness to travel to the other side of the world to share of his experience of biblically-shaped education in Europe, and for his being a faithful Christian educator and example to us as we continue the task of bearing witness to Christ in the classrooms of Australian schools.

INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN ANGLICAN SCHOOL?

You’d be hard-pressed to find an Anglican or some other Christian school that did not include the Bible somewhere in its curriculum.

I have read a very helpful book titled History through the Eyes of Faith edited by Ronald A Wells, Professor of History at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and published...

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