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Education and Society: A Christian Vision of Public Education in Singapore

What is a Christian Vision of Public Education in Singapore?

The answer depends much on education's purpose. For instance, educating-to-live-a-life is pragmatic, involving learning about and improving the human condition and our particular situations, to sustain ourselves through renewal. Yet, it is also important to live well and prepare for meaningful employment. Educating-to-earn-a-living concerns creating human capital at individual, societal and global levels. Unquestionably, education has utilitarian value but there are opportunity costs in choosing one path over another.

This booklet shows how balancing secular, tolerant and egalitarian interests means making decisions and steering a path that can be individualistic, competitive and performance. In contrast, a Christian vision of public education works towards establishing the Lord's Kingdom on earth, in the assurance that God operates in all things as He executes His eternal plan despite our particular circumstances.

If we accept this, teachers, parents and children are responsible for ensuring that education takes place in a controlled, disciplined environment. Educators need to be steadfast and righteous, and not simply do what is expedient and politically correct. Ultimately, we need to know not just what to do but also why they are important to God.

When situations question existing public educational policies, Christians should respond in godly ways that also edify pre-believers. If we accept God's free gift of eternal life and take on its responsibilities, we need to learn the meaning of being God's child, and live it out in the realm of public education in consistent, coherent and convincing ways for God's glory.

About the Author

Dr Phillip A Towndrow is a church lay leader with experience in small group work, discipling and Christian education. He is curretly a teacher, teacher-educator, and educational researcher at a tertiary institute in Singapore, specialising in New Media Literacies, Teacher Professional Learning, and Pedagogy and Classroom Practices. Phillip authored 'Walking with God as a Christian Educator: How to Live out your Faith as yoy Teach', and hosts the website and blog, 'Christian Educators Together'.

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