As Christian educators, we recognise God as the creator of all things both physical and non-physical. God is the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Our ability to discover and explore this creation with our minds is a gift from God.
At Wyong Christian Community School, our goal is to take our students on a journey of learning Mathematics through a Christian Worldview in what we learn together, how we learn together and what we do with that learning. Perhaps the most distinct though will be exploration of what to do with the mathematical content once it has been learned.
Students need to experience mathematical content in the context of its true meaning. They need to be shown the proper place of Mathematics in God’s creation. They need to understand that it is only as we combine human reasoning with a faith commitment to the God of the Bible that we will come to know truth. And God’s truth is not passive; it calls people to respond to him in love and service. Hence, for me to teach with meaning requires that I give direction to the development of students’ lives. (Patricia L Ahlborn 2011)
This means that we have some definite goals as we teach Mathematics.
The study of Mathematics should:
- Reveal the God of the Heavens and earth by whose Word all things were brought into being.
- Call the student to a life of service using his God-given gifts. This starts with students working to the best of their ability (Colossians 3:23) to understand the concepts so as to apply them in wider contexts in such a way as to grow His kingdom. Too often Mathematics lends itself to a consumerist understanding of the world around us. We endeavour to support young people to use newly learnt skills and concepts in an altogether selfless manner.
- Lead students toward a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Lord thus leading to increased outworking of love, praise and worship of God. “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe” – Galileo Galilei
How do we do this?
What the students learn will be dictated by the NSW Syllabus documents, but taught through a Christian Worldview. Particular emphasis will be put on the intricate design and patterns we see in this world pointing toward our great Creator. The learning activities will be planned in such a way that students can explore and analyse our world and what it means to be a Christian living in our world, particularly in the areas of finance and statistics. Also, taking unplanned opportunities to discuss the application of Biblical concepts to the content being studied. Spontaneous opportunities often arise to apply the content we are studying to the Bible through discussion and debate. These may be as a result of questions or comments from students, or from events taking place in the real world. Real world data will be used to form questions and spark discussion which provide a platform for discussion about the world around us and where we see God in it.
The medium through which our units are delivered are distinctively Christian also. Many of the lessons will be focused on collaborative style learning as they work in groups to solve real problems. This encourages an outward focus where students are encouraged to be selfless and not selfish. Students often need to help each other out and practice biblical principles like patience, selflessness, humility, sacrifice and encouragement. The learning activities will facilitate learning in which the students can construct their own mathematical knowledge. Thus, encouraging them to be life-long learners.
The modelling of Christian values, relationships and behaviours by the teacher is also imperative. Throughout the unit, the teacher will model Christian values in the way that lessons are taught, in the way that they interact with students and through the structures that are put in place to foster a loving classroom environment. Some examples may include regularly praying for students, reminding students of their worth and uniqueness using scripture, and establishing classroom rules that encourage students to be respectful of each other.
Furthermore, staff in the faculty are committed to the wider life of the school and seeing their students flourish in their God given gifts in other contexts outside their Mathematics classrooms. This has a positive impact on the learning environment during lessons.