Kenya (MNN) — Teachers pretty much around the developing world face an uphill battle to help shape the next generation.
When you add a faith component, it complicates the equation even more. That's why Worldwide Christian Schools launched a "train the trainer" approach to equipping classroom teachers. Called "Educational CareTM" (EC), it's a teacher's enrichment course to meet those needs, which, in turn, creates better teachers for the long haul.
The Educational Care Program consists of six modules:
1.The Biblical Worldview
2. How Students Learn
3. Developing Student Gifts
4. Preventive and Corrective Discipline
5. Leadership in School
6. The Purpose and Value of Your School
Dale Dieleman, USA Field Director for WWCS, says EC integrates faith with education in the classroom. The need for the program seems obvious in places like Cambodia or Indonesia, which is why they launched it there this summer.
However, in a place as heavily evangelized as Kenya, the need seems a little more fuzzy. Dieleman says what really needs to happen is adding Kenyan flavor to a North American recipe. "They have been left with the challenge, and in some cases, the burden to carry on these Christian schools that had been started under the missionary era. So the challenge there is to engage a new generation, if you will, of teachers who are Kenyan."
Specifically, it's fine tuning what has already been happening in Kenya. "They're qualified to teach in the schools but have not had the integration of faith and teaching together in their training courses, such as you would have from a Cornerstone University or another Christian college that would have an education program."
With that focus, Dieleman was part of a team that just returned from Kenya last week. "We were doing the first two modules there out of six that we have developed. It's a good opportunity to plant some seeds and to launch the training with a new group of teachers and new group of schools."
The receptivity of the teachers was encouraging, he notes. "We are now sort of introducing these Christian perspectives with them to take back to their classrooms and to then integrate that into their lesson plans, or integrate that into their style of teaching."
Each course is taught in four-day sessions which culminate in drafting a personal 4-6 month plan of action. Another benefit is that the training can go to the field, rather than the teachers coming to the training.
However, with all the solutions being presented to help make the angle of "uphill" less steep, Dieleman says a new challenge presented itself. "We need Bibles for teachers. It's amazing that so many teachers in Christian schools do not have Bibles of their own from which they can gain this development and nurture their own faith. So that's another particular need, besides prayer support."
Pray for the teaching teams to communicate clearly and for God to ready the hearts of the teachers WWCS will be helping.
Want to know more about the EC program? Click here for more ways you can help or get involved.