Saturday, March 20, 2010

Education as a Garden, not a Factory

(RSS readers: click through to see video)

I've used the metaphor of a factory versus a garden multiple times (in fact, I used this language and the word "organic" in a pastor/elder visioning meeting, with positive results), but this guy, Sir Ken Robinson, says it better than me about education. He expresses a fairly romantic view of human growth, i.e. that we have inherent strengths and traits that simply need to blossom, as opposed to being disciplined or trained or corrected.

I'd partly agree, but also understand that when it comes to our spiritual growth, we can't fully grow on our own due to our own sin and brokenness. We need the trinitarian movements of God in our lives, as well as the truth of Scripture and the community of believers, to be able to fully be ourselves and unleash the creativity Robinson seeks.

Robinson's comments have rekindled in me a desire to promote holistic spiritual growth amongst the junior highers. I have to ask myself (and those shepherding young people, especially parents):

Am I creating a factory-like system that churns out homogenous disciples, a system where only a certain temperament can thrive?

Or am I creating a spiritual garden, designing an environment where the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social dynamics of a person--a whole person--can be fostered in spiritual truth, all relying upon the Spirit of God to cause the growth?

I pray that I'm seeking the latter.

You can see Robinson's 20-minute TED talk here.

(HT to Dan Kimball)

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