A school without children is like an aquarium without fish. You might have a tank filled with water, but it is only an aquarium when there are fish in it, a school of them. The aquarium is all about the fish. And similarly, we might have great facilities, wonderful curriculum, well-equipped classrooms, computers, a library of books and even a band of highly qualified teachers – but without the kids it is not really a school.

In a previous book, “What do you Learn in School?” we looked at curriculum through a biblical lens. In the sequel, our focus shifts to the child. In order to be effective in our educational programs, whether as teachers or as parents, we need to understand our children. And the Bible is as clear about the nature of the child as it is about what and how we are to teach them.

Where old fashioned educators took a dim view of children, many modern educational theories have viewed the child through rose-tinted spectacles. The Bible offers a uniquely realistic perspective. Surprisingly, it demonstrates both darkness and light in ways that no human view of the child can match. 

The Biblical view of the child is darker than the Dickensian days of children under Gradgrind's tutelage in Hard Times. It sees the darkness of the reality of sin in a child’s heart; darkness that goes far deeper than the demeaning dim view of the child as a nuisance and an inconvenience, as something that should be seen and not heard. But it also has a far brighter hope than modern child-centered philosophies. It envisages, for a creature made in God’s image, a destiny far more brilliant than can be imagined in the dreams of an evolutionary secularist’s description of human potential and inherent goodness.

So, in "Pupils who can See", we take a fresh look at the child as a student. We paint a contrast between fallen-ness and destiny. And we take a broad brush to lay out the developing picture of the child who becomes a teenager en route to adulthood. This is a biblical portrait of the child in the process of learning.

Teachers live for penny-dropping moments. A hard day in the classroom is worthwhile when you see a child finally, suddenly understands. “I get it!” In a flash of revelation, fractions make sense. In a moment of wonder, it suddenly becomes clear how photosynthesis works. Or better yet, the child sees that the Fibonacci pattern in the spirals of the sunflower seeds is one of God’s fingerprints left on his creative handiwork. How can we help them to get it? Knowing who they are and what makes them tick is vital. If we can clearly see who our students are, the result will be pupils who can see.

"Pupils who can see" is a new e-book, now available in all e-book formats at $1.99. You can find it for Kindle on Amazon.com here; also available at Amazon.ca and Amazon.uk. It can be downloaded for i-pads and i-phones at i-tunes if you search for "Brian Watts pupils"; and for Kobo here.


Charles Rodrigues said...

After reading this preview I can hardly wait to read the book. Blessings Charles and Deborah