Whatever their discipline, Christian professors are working to help their universities and communities flourish. Their influence has ripple effects in every part of society, from the arts, to media, to education. I was reminded of this when I read a recent update from Katherine, a professor of Early Childhood Education in Nigeria. Her faithfulness is making a difference for children and teachers across Nigeria. She writes:
Reading aloud is one of the most effective strategies for teaching reading. However, very few teachers in Nigeria read aloud, due to lack of money for story books and lack of training on the value of reading aloud.
We recently received a grant to help us create Literacy Cooperatives. In Nigeria, the concept of a cooperative is quite common, for example, with buying and sharing food in bulk. Cooperatives also typically have training associated with them.
We organized four groups of 12 early childhood educators, each at a different school. They shared story books by rotating a set of two books every two weeks. This structure allowed them to read a different story book aloud each week for a full school term. We also met every other week for training on how to enrich read alouds to enhance children’s reading skills.
The Literacy Cooperatives involved 49 educators and almost 1000 pupils. They succeeded with a bigger impact than anticipated. Unexpectedly, the storybooks were not just read aloud in the classrooms of the teachers who participated in the cooperative but were read aloud in other classrooms at the school, as well as to children in the teachers’ homes and communities.
Feedback from participating teachers was very positive:
- First of all, I want to thank this cooperative for giving me this great opportunity. It has really been a very good and interesting program. It gives me great joy to see my pupils performing so well and boosting their interest for learning.
- It has made me a better teacher.
- The pupils in my class [now] love books.
- It has broadened my learners’ imaginations. My pupils now reason and think out of the box
Thank you for equipping Katherine and thousands like her around the world to bring Christ’s grace and truth into their work. You are having big ripple effects, and I am grateful for your part in this ministry.
Most of us know Dallas Willard as a brilliant and pastoral writer on spiritual formation. In his writing, you can sense a man of great thought, but the depth of his knowledge can be hidden from the reader of his more popular works. In this episode of the Thinking Christianly podcast, J.P. Moreland and I discuss the life, scholarship, and legacy of Dallas Willard. We also share thoughts on spiritual formation gleaned from Dallas.
This edition of the College Faith podcast provides a guide to students considering majoring in the arts. My guest is Cam Anderson, author of The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts. Cam holds a Masters of Fine Arts (the highest degree in the field) from Cranbrook Academy of Art, works as an artist (among other things), and is past president of CIVA–Christians in the Visual Arts. I know of no one better to help us think about majoring in the arts than Cam.