Posts Tagged ‘Education’

A Beautiful Mind

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 by Jason Wermuth

I have been hearing and reading a lot lately about the importance of emphasizing math and science in our American classrooms. Many argue that unless our children become more competitive in these two areas, we will fall from the stage as a world superpower as countries like China take over. I agree, math and science are important. However, is America really doomed if we don’t catch up with the rest of the world in the areas of math and science? I say, no way.

While it is absolutely necessary to have great engineers and scientists to design bridges, computers, develop cures for diseases and  create the world’s great things, behind every great invention and innovation is a beautiful mind. I recently read about how Steve Jobs dropped out of college and was never really a great engineer or computer scientist, but his creative eye allowed him to produce some of the worlds most amazing things. One of the really simple but neat things that Steve pioneered in the 80′s was different fonts. Soon after Jobs decided to drop out of Reed College, he took a class in calligraphy for fun , he recounts: “If I had never dropped in on that single class in college the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts” (Steve Jobs: The Brilliant Mind Behind Apple, p. 37). It is this kind of ingenuity and artistic thinking that has guided America to where she is today.

After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well. – Albert Einstein

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Online Education

Friday, July 16th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

We are currently in a time of significant transition in terms of educational models. This transition is no different in significance than what occurred during the move from Cathedral schools to the university and from scholasticism to Renaissance humanism.

I wonder, what are your thoughts about online education, especially since Regent is fully committed to this new educational model.  My own attempts to evaluate what we do here at Regent is in terms of past attempts to renew education.

So, here is the framework in which I work:

  • Does online education allow for greater links to be forged between the church and the academy that Cathedral schools had and that was placed in jeopardy through the rise of universities?
  • Does online education allow for the creation of a community of learners guided by a teacher who attempts to help them assimilate a body of information?
  • Does online education allow for the preservation of a connection between the moral life and the life of the mind?
  • Does online education allow for a return to the sources?

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Education and Renewal

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris

Here at Regent University School of Divinity we study renewal and attempt to unpack its “dynamics.” As I continue to study the history of Christianity, I have noticed that the internal renewal of the human person and societal renewal have occurred during periods of educational renewal. What I mean by educational renewal is the development of new models and approaches to education that more effectively shape human beings and thus society as a whole.

At its best, it seems to me that the educational enterprise has a twofold purpose. First, it is a humanism because education attempts to make humans better human beings. In Christian terms, education is about discipleship through renewing the mind (Rom. 12:1-2) in which both educators and students seek to cooperate with the Spirit in the process of transformation. Second, education is a humanism because “transformed” students enter the world in order to bring change to societies in ways that promote the common good of humanity as a whole. Sometimes, we think of education primarily as a means to an end: a good paying job. And yet, for Christians, the job really was not the ultimate aim; instead, it was a means to the larger goal of pursuing one’s calling in life, a calling to change the world for Christ.

In this and the next blog entry, I want to survey the various points in the history of western Christianity in which renewal of educational models brought about positive renewal for humans and society. I think this is important to consider at this time in history because we are currently undergoing a change in educational models from on-campus delivery systems to online delivery systems. There is a question as to whether online education represents a genuine renewal that brings about positive change. The best way to ask this question is to consider how educational renewal happens.

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