Viewing entries in

Bronfenbrenner’s Biblical Interpretation Model

I love teaching the Bible to early childhood development majors for several reasons: (1) It combines two fields I’m deeply passionate about (Bible/theology and child development), (2) ECD students are extremely relational and intuitively understand God’s relational nature, (3) They approach the Bible with humility and a genuine desire to learn, (4) Working with children gives them an entirely different perspective on Scripture, and (5) They’re terrified the first night of class (due to their perceived biblical ignorance), but by the last night, they gladly, willingly, and confidently share their insights...

Divine Scaffolding

Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist came up with the zone of proximal development (ZPD). This “zone” represents the distance between where a child is at and where they can be. It’s the bridge between what's already known and what’s unknown; the link between an already-skill and a not-yet skill. It is in this zone where learning takes place...

Divine Mirroring

In child development and developmental psychology, mirroring is the process by which a caregiver reflects back to a child their worth, value, and specialness. It’s a validating process. It recognizes a child’s emotions and feelings, and in so doing, validates their being and personhood. The overwhelming experience of joy, love, and affection present in the parent's gaze is beamed directly into the infant's or child’s eyes. Essentially, this gaze conveys, “you’re worthy just because of who you are.”

Mirroring plays a significant role in the development of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-concept. Children need to be admired, they need to feel their mother and father’s excitement and joy. When a child fails to receive mirroring, s/he “struggles to establish a sufficiently cohesive and enduring self.”*

We recently discussed this concept in the early childhood development class I teach...

Three Worlds

One of the assignments I give my students is called “Three Worlds.” Most students don’t read the example in the syllabus, and thus to assure understanding (and my own sanity when grading), we go over it in class...

What I Learned from My First Year of Teaching

1) Having an M.A. ≠ knowing how to: teach, develop a course, structure a syllabus, manage a classroom, give a four hour lecture, elicit respect from students.

2) Watching me teach was like watching a baby bird learn to fly—it was disjointed, jerky, and grimace-inducing.

3) Students think I know everything about the Bible. I do not.

4) Nodding your head, validating someone’s response, or asking another student to chime in, gives you ample time to recover from the, “I have no idea what this student just said, nor do I have any idea how to respond” thought going through your head.

5) Never make assumptions about what a student knows or doesn’t know.

6) Teaching involves a tremendous amount of hand holding.

7) Scaffolding information is a must.

8) I say “ok” way too much when I lecture.

9) Next to parenting, teaching is the most difficult, and time-consuming, job.

10) Having a connection with, or an impact on, just one student is enough.

11) While I was never brazenly heretical, completely uninformed, or intentionally misleading, I did potentially relay imprecise information to my students.

12) I still don’t know how to work my laser pointer.

13) Witnessing a student have an “ah-ha!” moment makes it worthwhile.

14) Regardless of how much I prepared, practiced my lecture in the mirror, tried to remember the material verbatim, class never went as planned. I’m learning to be ok with this.

15) I don’t want to teach full-time.

16) You can't see 28 point font on a Power Point presentation from the back of a classroom.

17) While I tried to adhere to the rubric, more often than not, my grading was arbitrary. I’m working on this.

18) If you really want to learn something, or become an expert on a subject, teach it.

19) I love teaching about Jesus.