Ministering To Children

Childhood Education in the Church, edited by Roy Zuck and Robert Clark (Moody, 1975, 500 pp., $7.95), is reviewed by Catherine Day, CHRISTIANITY TODAYstaff.

Most Sunday-school teacher preparation focuses on familiarizing the teachers with the materials they will be using. Childhood Education in the Church approaches preparation from the perspective that if you first understand the child’s emotional, physical, and mental development, you can more effectively prepare the material and present it. Leading Christian educators, seminary professors, Christian-education directors, and Sunday-school curriculum writers, have contributed twenty-nine articles that provide a balance of Christian educational philosophy (although Piaget and Ginott have had some influence), childhood development, theological conceptualization of children, and teaching methodology, as well as administrative guides for various programs. Sound thinking and preparation has produced a functional textbook for the Christian-education programs of all churches.

The book displays a fine balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of education. Sound educational principles are presented in clear and simple terms (but not simplistically) so that each Sunday-school teacher, whether an engineer, accountant, or sales clerk by profession, can have some grasp of children’s development and capabilities at various age levels. This is something that has all too often been ignored in deference to “knowing the material.”

The book is divided into seven sections. The first deals with the challenge of teaching children. Donald Joy, associate professor of Christian education at Asbury Seminary, sets the tone for the whole book with a thought-provoking ...

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