• Scott Hayden at the International Community School in Thailand has been instrumental in helping the school think about developing discerning thinkers.

    He has very helpful examples of the importance of avoiding assumptive language—a very real problem, especially when assessing students. An important part of the power of education to shape thinking is the assumptive language of the teacher, but it is easy to misuse the power to coerce responses rather than allow individual choice. In all environments, it is easy to misuse the power of teachers to get students to say what the teacher wants them to say. As Christians, we want students to know and love God through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit unselfishly love others. However, producing “marks Christians” doesn’t honor the God who graciously and humbly allows personal choice even though the majority of His creation reject His love.

    Especially in a mixed environment where there is a very wide range of perspectives on Biblical truth, it is important to consider the words that we use. Many teachers find themselves in an environment hostile to the overt presentation of truth, but this video not only points them away from pitfalls, but towards new opportunities for truth to be considered. Christians should be interested in critical and discerning thinking because of our understanding of God’s image in all people. We, of all people, should promote the development of the God-given gifts of logic, understanding and communication. Asking the right kind of questions can open rather than close consideration of controversial ideas.

  • Essential questionsEssential questions (EQ) are an important topic. The Global Digital Citizen Foundation has all kinds of resources to help teachers create and use essential questions that lead “us to explore the background of a problem and choose from various plans, strategies, or possible courses of action to generate a complex applicable solution.” "A Quick 3-Point Reference Guide for Making Any Question Essential" in their April 3, 2017 newsletter, included some helpful suggestions, but what was not included was even more essential.

  • "Sometimes questions are more important than answers."

    Nancy Willard

  • Michael Essenburg has encouraged me and helped me think about what a Biblical perspective looks like in a classroom. His website, Close the Gap Now, has resources to challenge thinking and practise and helpful examples to keep everything practical. His presentation, What framework can you use, can help you get started, but he has also provided 4 teacher training kits that can be downloaded:

    1. Help Your Students Connect
    2. Use Assessment
    3. Use Questions
    4. Meet Student Learning Needs
  • "…developed to form authentic and integral Christian learning experiences that focus on seeing and living out God’s story" by the Prairie Centre for Christian Education

  • Use questions to help your students increase their understanding and use of a Biblical perspective

  • The introductory Visual Valet PowerPoint is now available with audio. It outlines three ways that the Visual Valet can help Christian thinkers and teachers.

    You can hear a little of what is presented in a live seminar by viewing the Visual Valet Introduction online as an Office Mix or download a video of the presentation for use offline.

    You can also read online the core ideas, download a PDF of the whole book or purchase the Visual Valet e-Book to read offline.