New Tools Coming in the Future: Exciting News!

For almost three years, I have been writing articles on academic discipleship through biblical integration on this site. There are over 100 individual articles published and the site is on track to have about 2500 views during this calendar year (2020). While these are not earth-shattering numbers, I find them encouraging. The trends are all positive. Teachers, administrators, and parents continue to show that they care about learning about integration and growing as integrators. Because of that, I am planning to use the next several weeks to increase the value of the site in a new way: online, interactive training-modules.

I have led in-person trainings regarding biblical integration for years in at conferences, schools, and professional development events. However, COVID-19 has been a catalyst for me to learn more about online teaching, instructional design, and development. Therefore, I believe the time is right to leverage this growth to adapt and form much of this content for maximum impact online. By early 2021, I am hoping to make my Every Bush is Burning training available for free on this site. If that goes well, I have several other courses that I would like to develop as well. These could be used by individual teachers, but they will also be useful for small groups or entire schools looking for professional development in this area.

Since this will be a large undertaking, I will not be posting new weekly articles for several weeks. This is not because I have given up on the site. This is not because I am not continuing to invest in helping teachers grow as integrators. On the contrary, I am working hard to produce larger-scale elements that provide greater benefit for those who have come to appreciate what this site offers. I am excited about this new opportunity and I am praying that God would use it in big ways.

Explicitly Communicating Your Key Content: Biblical Integration

Biblical integration, like everything else, is more effective when it is communicated effectively. Great integration becomes poor integration when it is communicated poorly. Sometimes it is appropriate for students to discover an integration concept themselves. There are times when they need to mine the material and develop their own critical thinking skills. However, there are other times when the teacher needs to explicitly state a particular concept. Here are a few steps that you can implement to help you to explicitly communicate key integration concepts in your class. I will use an integration-idea from English/Speech class to illustrate.

1. Say it.

The first step in communicating an integration concept is simply to say it. This is obvious, but it needs to be said because (sadly) integration ideas often never make off of the lesson plan. 

English/Speech Example: Words have power (Jas 3).

2. Say it clearly and robustly.

Take your concept and develop it so that it clarifies a concept substantially. This helps to eliminate confusion.

E/S Ex: Words have power to direct our thoughts, attitudes, and actions (Jas 3).

3. Say it memorably. 

Often great teaching is separated from average teaching by active attention to memory. Great teaching sticks, so make your concept sticky.

E/S Ex: Words have power to mold me and my words mold others (Jas 3).

4. Say it with connective tissue.

It is important the student fully grasp how the integration concept is connected to the course. If it is just a biblical fact or idea, it is not integration. 

E/S Ex: Words have power to mold me and my words mold others, so writing and speaking are superpowers that can be used for good or evil (Jas 3).

5. Say it repeatedly. And have the students say it too.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And be sure to put the phrase on your quiz or test. 

E/S Examples: 

True or False: Words have power to mold me and my words mold others, so writing and speaking are superpowers that can be used for good or evil (Jas 3).

Fill in the blank: Words have _______ to mold me and __ words mold others, so writing and speaking are ___________ that can be used for good or evil (Jas 3).

In three sentences, explain the following in your own words: Words have power to mold me and my words mold others, so writing and speaking are superpowers that can be used for good or evil (Jas 3).

If you want to make sure your students know key integration ideas, develop them well. If you follow the steps above, you’ll be on a great track.