Discover Your Place in God’s Story
In every classroom, in every lesson, we are telling God’s story. Teaching for Transformation (TfT) in an educational framework to help students discover their place in God’s story. Our mission at Harding Academy is to teach students to love others as Christ loves them, to think creatively and learn with open minds, and to live courageously to the glory of God. Our mission is the what we are striving for. Teaching for Transformation is the how. Read on to see what that looks like in action.
Deep Hopes & Storylines
We are people of hope. Every August, our teachers and staff write their deep hopes for the school year. While each deep hope is different, each reflects the promises contained within our school’s mission and points toward our place in God’s story. Storylines are the classroom shorthand for teachers’ deep hopes. They help students see God’s story and easily connect their story to it.
The best way to understand deep hopes and storylines is to read them for yourself. Dr. Stafford’s horticulture class is a great example.
Dr. Stafford’s Deep Hope
My deep hope is that you will learn to preserve the integrity of your bodies and God’s earth by how and what you eat.
Dr. Stafford’s Storyline
Work the dirt.
FLEx: Formational Learning Experiences
Once students are invited to see the story, we provide opportunities for them to live the story. Formational Learning Experiences (FLEx) are about doing real work that meets real needs for real people. Students love FLEx projects because they get to use what they’ve learned inside the classroom to help people outside the classroom. When students become engaged at that level, so does their mastery of knowledge and skill.
For a long-term FLEx, our physics and chemistry students set a goal to collect 100,000 coins to fight Huntington’s Disease.
Throughout this project of doing real work to meet the real needs of real people, students used creative problem-solving skills to figure out how to count, collect, store, and transport 100,000 coins. That’s over 500 pounds of change!
Students are regularly taught to recognize how their learning connects them to God’s story. These connections—called throughlines—ensure our focus is not only about what students know; it’s about who they are called to be within God’s story. We have ten throughlines that help to make these connections.
These kinds of questions are asked in every setting from African-American History to recess.
How can studying the life of Harriet Tubman make you a Justice Seeker today?
When you are an Order Discoverer in calculus class, what do you learn about the nature of God?
How does being a Beauty Creator in the jazz band connect you to God’s creative spirit?
How are you a Community Builder when you invite someone to play a game with you at recess?