Often education is viewed pragmatically as that of preparing students for life as employees. Another view is that education is about enabling human beings to flourish. The pragmatic and flourishing paradox has consequences for national citizenship. For Christian teachers, critical to such an approach would be the manner in which their teaching practice is informed and shaped by a Christian worldview. Such shaping involves an applied knowledge with reference to understanding people, and particularly students as “Imago Dei.” This research presents a pilot study in which 120 teachers in Christian schools in New Zealand and Canada were invited, via an online survey, to respond to three questions on what it means to be made in the image of God, and how that understanding informed their practice. In appropriating the work of Dorothy Smith (2005) on the significance of “voices in the everyday” within a profession, coupled with Charteris’s (2014) “epistemological shudders,” the research engages in a discourse analysis for probing unquestioned assumptions which open up possibilities for meaning-making and, consequently, increased intentionality of practice. Following grounded methodology, the literature review was not undertaken until after the data analysis. Discussion explores the degree of fit with approaches to Imago Dei found in the literature. Data analysis identifies four approaches to participants’ meaning making of Imago Dei. Preliminary findings suggest that how teachers understand Imago Dei does make a difference to how they view themselves as teacher, view students as image bearers, and craft their teaching.
Norsworthy, Beverley and Belcher, Christina
"Teachers’ Understanding of Imago Dei,"
International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal: Vol. 10
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/icctej/vol10/iss2/4