Convention 2013 is framed by two essential questions:
What would it look like when our day-to-day practices in our schools embody our mission to help young people become passionate well-equipped disciples of Jesus in their futures?
As we navigate the technolgy revolution, how do we stay rooted and grounded in the ‘true story of the whole world’ and preserve valuable practices and traditions as we stretch?
James K. A. Smith reminds us that we are shaped and directed primarily not by what we think but what we love.[i] If we are to stay rooted, grounded and directed by the biblical story we need to love that story. The Convention Planning Committee invited Keith Ferrin to help us revisit and perhaps rekindle our love for the STORY that we confess is the one we want to shape our work and the lives of our students.
A proponent for a transformation in the way we do schooling said that the next 10 years may well be the messiest, most upheaval filled years in education that any of us has ever seen.[ii] The rapidity of change in our cultures, largely due to the impact of technology, means that the young people we teach will face a future that is very different than our pasts or even their present. Our mission compels us to ask what kind of people they need to be/become faithful disciples of Jesus in their future – a future we cannot see or perhaps even imagine. What do they need to love? What will they need to know and be able to do? We cannot answer this question alone. We need each other. That is why we invite teachers like yourselves to share what you are doing in your learning spaces. We need each other to preserve the tried and true and to support each other in our ventures into new pedagogical practices. Thank you for contributing to the learning of your fellow teachers.
[i] James K. A. Smith addresses this notion in the first two books of what will be a trilogy – Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom.
[ii] Richardson, Will. “Students First, Not Stuff: putting technology first – simply adding a layer of expensive tools on top of the traditional curriculum – does nothing to address the new needs of modern learners.” ASCD: Educational Leadership, March 2013, p. 10.