“The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people, a people who
desire the Kingdom of God and thus undertake their life’s expression of that desire.”
James K.A. Smith
Do you want to be peculiar? We do! And we want to intentionally develop students to be peculiar as well. Why peculiar? As captured in the opening quote, we define peculiar as becoming a people that desire the Kingdom of God and as a result, choose to live lives that demonstrate that longing. As Christians, there is no greater aim, and as a Christian school, that is our ultimate goal. So how do we go about doing this? Recently we embarked on a journey called Teaching for Transformation (TfT). TfT is a purposeful framework that immerses teachers and students in learning experiences to See God’s Story and Live God’s Story. These learning experiences are crafted through three core practices that are foundational to TfT.
They are as follows:
Core Practice #1 – Storyline
Every Christian school classroom must have a powerful and compelling vision of the Kingdom that creates a longing and a desire within every student to play his/her part in God’s unfolding story of creation-fall- redemption-restoration.
Core Practice #2
Biblical Throughlines- Every Christian school classroom must have an articulate and inspiring student profile that invites every student to imagine how to play his/her part in God’s story.
Core Practice #3
FLEx (Formational Learning Experiences)- Every Christian school classroom must provide authentic (real work, real need, real people) opportunities for students to practice living the Kingdom story. This practice then becomes a habit, shaping who we are. In order to implement this framework well, we are taking a deliberate three-year approach to effectively train all of our faculty members. The teachers implementing TfT this first year are called Early Adopters, and they are as follows: Tami Boomsma (kindergarten), Alice Seif (2 nd grade), Josh Bird (4 th grade), Alan Sloterbeek (6 th grade) and Lynne VanderWall (7/8 th grade).
We are excited to be on this journey toward becoming peculiar. We invite you to join us. Please look for future updates about our Teaching for Transformation process. Ask questions. Talk to teachers and students about what they are learning and doing. Better yet, look for evidence that Dutton Christian is becoming a peculiar place. We would love it if you told us so!