Shall we teach the Bible in schools?
Excerpt from the EDUCATIONAL CONCEPT of the August Hermann Francke Schools in Lippe sponsored by the Christian School Association Lippe e.V.
The Christian School Association Lippe e. V. maintains independent Protestant schools because it is committed to a double mandate:
- As evangelical denominational schools, our schools should implement an educational concept that is based on a stable spiritual foundation, namely Jesus Christ and the Bible.
- The students entrusted to us should receive a solid education and a solid foundation for the development of their personality.
- The spiritual foundations of our school work are aptly summarized in the belief base of the Evangelical Alliance of 1972.
Independent Protestant denominational schools
The wish of many parents that their children would also be educated according to Christian standards in school led to the establishment of the first free denomination school in Lippe in 1988, the August-Hermann-Francke-Primary School in Lemgo. In the following years four more schools were added. The right to establish private schools is guaranteed in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in Article 7, Paragraph 4. Like all "substitute schools", our schools also meet the following conditions:
- We are under state school supervision.
- Our teachers must have the same qualifications as in public schools.
- The qualifications of our students are on an equal footing with those of public schools.
- We teach largely according to the guidelines and curricula of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Our schools are open to pupils of all denominations, provided that the parents agree that their children are taught and raised according to our concept.
Spiritual foundations and educational goals
We see our task in educating the students in the sense of the Bible and in accordance with the requirements of the constitution of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Art 7 Para. 1): "Reverence for God, respect for human dignity and a willingness to socialize Arousing action is the primary goal of education. "
The Bible has the highest authority for us as the word of God and is therefore the standard for our faith, our thinking and our actions. That is why daily morning devotions in the colleges and in the classes are an integral part of our school life. As a school community, we regularly celebrate school services. The biblical statements about man are the basis of our image of man and our pedagogy: Man was created by God as a relational being, who let himself be separated from sin by God. The restoration of this relationship with God is possible through Jesus Christ. We believe that shaping the relationship between people and God is of central importance. This also includes and influences man's relationship to himself, to his fellow human beings and to creation. Here we find basic guidelines for a biblically founded education concept that we want to realize in our schools.
Selection of the course content
As Christian substitute schools, we orient the education and upbringing of our students largely according to the guidelines and curricula of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, but we also exercise our freedom to choose and structure the teaching content according to Christian standards. In denominational schools in North Rhine-Westphalia, according to Art. 12 of the state constitution, the guidelines and curricula are to be applied in such a way that the principles of the denomination in question apply in teaching and education as well as in the organization of school life as a whole. Through the teaching work and school life, we enable and educate the students to be independent and mature. They recognize their responsibility, which they have in front of God, in front of their fellow human beings and in front of creation. August Hermann Francke (pietistic theologian and pedagogue, 1663-1727) calls this the education for "Christian wisdom", which should enable people to serve their fellow human beings as best as possible.
Challenge and support
Every student has gifts, dispositions and personality traits that differ greatly from one person to another. Sensitively perceiving and responding to the overall personality of the student corresponds to the Christian claim of our schools. The lessons at our schools aim to challenge and promote the different potentials of the students. The musical-artistic, sporting and technical talents are valued and promoted as well as the talents for theoretical learning. Higher and less proficient students work together in class and support each other. Their social skills are promoted, but at the same time their learning progress is also promoted. We offer additional funding opportunities for underperforming students.
Learning and achievement
We use the term “achievement” in a positive way, in that we understand learning and achievement as the development of individual gifts. Therefore we want to encourage the students to use and develop their gifts responsibly before God, themselves and their fellow human beings. We want to convey joy in learning to the adolescents and in this way cultivate a performance culture. On the other hand, we also want to help the students to accept boundaries that they cannot cross without losing their self-esteem.
Based on the commandment to love one's neighbor, it is particularly important to us that the students learn to take responsibility for their fellow human beings. School learning therefore also aims to acquire social skills. In dealing with one another, we value mutual respect and consideration. Teamwork, helpfulness, commitment and the ability to communicate are valuable skills in all areas of life. The teaching work and the coexistence within the school (e.g. in the class community) are important fields in which such social skills are demanded and promoted.
Teachers and parents
Teacher as a role model
School influences the development of growing children over several years. Especially at a young age, this development is significantly shaped by consciously or unconsciously imitating the role models at home and at school. As teachers in our schools, we are aware of this great responsibility and equally strive to shape this development positively in line with the goals of our schools.
Cooperation between school and home
We can and want to fulfill our upbringing and educational mandate only in close cooperation with the parents. This assumes that the parents support the educational work of the schools and support the Christian character of our schools. We need a basis of trust and conversation on which a common upbringing for the good of the child succeeds. We expect parents to show a lively and constant interest in the development of their children in school. This is expressed, among other things, in an active participation in school events such as parents 'evenings, parents' consultation days, school and class celebrations, but also in the willingness to talk and cooperation in the event of conflicts and problems. This also applies to students in our schools.
If you are interested in reading our entire educational concept, you can download it here:
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