Integrating Your Thinking: A Plan for Growth

If you want to teach your students in a biblically integrated fashion, one of the best things you can do is to work on your own thinking. Yes, it is good to think about how you can deliver content. It is right to work on strategies. It is necessary to plan your course and units. However, it is also crucial to work on yourself; the way you think about your subject will affect how you teach your subject. So what are some doable, affordable, excellent things that you can do to better integrate your own thinking? Here are three steps that I would recommend:

1) Purchase and read a book on your subject from the “Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition” series. These short, Christian titles on everything from economics and education to science and psychology will help you understand your topic better. (Vern Poythress has authored books on a number of topics like sociology, history, language, and logic as well. These are a bit more technical.) How much will one of these books cost? Most of these books fall in the $12-25 range. 

2) Read the chapter on your subject area in Understanding the Times. It would be great to read the whole book, but reading one chapter will make a difference. This book examines 10 areas of inquiry including things like biology, law, history, and politics. And this book compares how different groups — like Muslims and Marxists — approach and understand these topics. This book can be purchased for less than $30, but many schools have these books on hand. So you could likely read it for free.

3) Read the Bible. This might sound overly basic, but it is not. The more you read the Bible, the better you will understand your topic from and toward the biblical worldview. I bet this will cost you nothing because you likely already own a Bible.

I am bringing this up now because (at my school) the final quarter of the school year just began. We are nearing the end of this year. This is when I want to start planning to be more equipped, more aware, and more skilled in my thinking for next year. If you are like me, you want to be on a trajectory of growth. I want my teaching to be better each year. And I bet you do too! If you do any of these three things, I bet you will grow as an academic disciple-maker. If you do all three, you will grow even more. Let me encourage you to make that investment in your own thinking because that is an investment in your students as well.

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