Thursday Book Club: Curriculum for Education

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

Daniel J. Estes, Hear, My Son: Teaching & Learning in Proverbs 1-9, (Inter-Varsity Press, 1997), 174 pages. It has been several weeks since I worked through the third chapter of Hear, My Son.  Over the next month or so, I'll finish out this volume.  Estes' fourth chapter unpacks the curriculum for education.  He gives three sources:

  • Observation of the physical environment.
  • Tradition mediated by a teacher
  • Divine Revelation

Observation. In 6:6-8, the ant is used as an object lesson.  The teacher appeals to the learner to physically observe his environment, observe it, and learn from it.  Similarly, in 5:15-20, the teacher directs the learner to personal observation of the "satisfaction of sexual intimacy in marriage as a preventative against the allurement of the strange woman" (98).  The learner is to see that wise ways are part of the very structure of creation.

Tradition. Estes believes that the "predominant source of knowledge in Proverbs 1-9 is mediated through tradition communicated by the teacher."  Our Student and Family Ministry team's discussion of this book centered around the axiom: "The teacher is the curriculum."  It is important to remember that students learn most from who we are and what we teach through our words and actions taken as a whole.  This can be more important than the actual content in our lesson books or the greatness of their craft project.

Divine Revelation. Since the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, the curriculum for education must find its ultimate source in Him and his words.  God himself provides the unity of truth found in creation, tradition, and his Word.  And his Word provides the clearest and most orderly explanation of it all.