Education as Formation (Proficient)

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Education as Formation (Proficient)


Purpose of this course:

The course has been designed to give you access to some of the current thinking on the formation of the individual teacher and student, as well as institutional formation. It is specifically designed for teachers professing a faith, as the research incorporates the concept of spiritual coherence as a key contributor to formation.

The course is based on research carried out by Professor Steven Garber who is the professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College. Dr Garber completed his PhD in the Philosophy of Learning at Pennsylvania State University focusing on the connection between belief and behaviour. His dissertation led to the publication of his first book The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behaviour. His second book Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good grew out of his work with the Washington Institute. As the title suggests Dr Garber explores the significance of faith in every part of life affecting culture in a positive way for the good of all.


Course structure and timing:

Education as Formation is a twelve-hour, online course. The course has eight modules and involves Readings, Videos and Interactive Learning Tasks – discussions and reflection exercises that are an application of the learning to your own situation. All materials are included in the course.


Explicit course outcomes:

  1. Participants will understand how you can get all A's at school but 'flunk' life.
  2. Participants will understand the concept that 'knowing has a responsibility'.
  3. Participants will explore how to avoid stoicism and cynicism in the face of a challenging world.
  4. Participants will explore the importance of having a coherent worldview.
  5. Participants will understand the concept of  'common grace for the common good'.
  6. Participants will interact with the 21st century challenges of secularism, pluralism and globalisation and consider how coherence and a concern for the common good can inform the 'whatever culture'.   


Success criteria:

  1. Participants will state an understanding of the poor choices made by Albert Speer who was a good person.
  2. Participants will critique the Bible story of 'The Good Samaritan', stating what he knew and should have known.
  3. Participants will give examples of incidents that illustrate 'knowing but still loving'.
  4. Participants will identify a secular and a pluralist worldview and compare them to a Christian worldview when explaining one situation.
  5. Participants will identify the common good in Julie McGonigle's story.
  6. Participants will identify where lack of coherent story about life interacts with meaning and relationships in a video clip.
  7. Participants will identify one issue faced by their students and outline how they will use a principled pedagogy to help their students to come to a deeper understanding of how a Biblical world view speaks into the issue.


Course outline:

Module 1: An overview of formation

This module contains the three films from the EdComm 2019 Conference.

Module 2: Getting all A's and flunking life

Module 2 explores the concept of what it means ‘to get all A’s but flunk life’ by looking at the life of Albert Speer and how an economic rationalist approach to life and learning does not prepare a person for making wise decisions in life.

Module 3: The responsibility of knowing

This module looks at five brief secular examples of the commonly held cultural expectation that ‘knowledge carries a responsibility’. It looks at the concept of coherence between stated belief and lived reality by looking at Peter Singer and it asks 'Who is my neighbour?' and what responsibility do we have toward our neighbours?

Module 4: Surviving and thriving in a messy world 

This module explores the idea of 'knowing yet still loving' and avoiding the extremes of stoicism and cynicism.

Module 5: A coherent meta-narrative story/worldview

This module explores the need for a coherent plausibility structure that makes sense of life.

Module 6: Common grace for the common good

This module explores three case studies of Christians who have contributed significantly to the common good.

Module 7: Challenges for the twenty-first century culture: Globalised, pluralised and secularised

This module looks at the implications of a fractured and pluralised culture in the classroom. Trevor Cooling suggests using a Critical Realist approach to learning.

Module 8: Reflection

This module asks participants to reflect on their learning across the whole course. This guided reflection is recorded in a learning task.


Course cost:

Anglican EdComm Member Schools: Complimentary

Anglican EdComm Individual Members: Complimentary

Non-member Schools: $480pp

Course dates:

July 19 – October 3, 2021

Further information:

Once you have registered and paid you will be given access to EdComm's Learning Management System, where you will be able to work through the course material in a facilitated online learning community.


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