What issues loom largest along the horizon of problems confronting Christian education today? To answer this question, I have polled 53 nationally-known specialists in the field, and have asked them to list and comment on one or two issues which deserve serious consideration and resolution during the 1960’s. Issues which the respondents consider most critical cluster about the following subjects:
1. Vitalization and application of the Christian message in the daily lives of those who have accepted Christ as Saviour.
2. Selection of curriculum content that creates greatest behavioral effect at specific developmental and age levels.
3. Recruitment of able, basically-qualified teachers.
4. In-service growth of teachers in both instructional competence and spiritual discernment.
The first two subjects relate to students; the third and fourth, to teachers. The first, second, and fourth subjects deal with learning; the third, with recruitment of teachers. All of them concern the characteristics and development of human beings. Perhaps we should expect Christian educators to prefer subjects that affect people rather than intellectual concepts and teaching materials. People, after all, are the most difficult, conflictive, and complex creatures in the Christian educator’s environment.
The four subjects may be appreciated all the more when they are seen as belonging to a larger constellation of subjects from which critical issues may be formulated. In the summer of 1959, 200 religious educators and social science consultants identified 16 major subjects for research in religious education (Herman E. Wornom, Editor, Highlights of Recommendations for Research, New York, The Religious Education Association, 1959, passim). Some of the subjects ...1
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