Discovering the Soul of Education

by Jeff Haanen

An old saying suggests that educators teach their pupils “reading, writing and ‘rithmatic,” but the work they do, in thousands of classrooms every day, has deeper implications for the hearts and minds of our nation’s students.

In addition to parents, teachers often serve as the strongest intellectual and moral influence in a young person’s life. The worldview and values they espouse shape students’ perspectives–and as a result, culture at large–for years to come.

In 2106, Professor Mary Poplin joined Denver Institute for Faith & Work to discuss the ways educators’ ideas about what is good, beautiful, and true affect classroom instruction and students’ lives.

Spend a few minutes watching this video of Dr. Poplin’s presentation and consider the following questions:

1) Which of the four worldviews described in the video seems most prevalent in your school or workplace? How does this perspective shape the daily life in this setting?

2) Scripture teaches that knowledge is tied to the mind, but understanding is tied to the heart. Whether you’re an educator, influencer, or parent, how could you encourage learning at both a head and heart level?

3) Christianity invites us to pursue the good, beautiful, and true in our work. What practical steps could you take to emphasize these values — through your actions and the attitudes you embrace?

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Jeff Haanen

Jeff Haanen is the Founder & CEO of Denver Institute for Faith & Work. Jeff lives with his wife and four daughters in Littleton, Colorado, and attends Wellspring Church.