What do LESNW Learning Communities aim to provide for students and staff as a part of this journey?
LESNW as a community of learning communities is committed to excellence in learning as God’s gift to everyone for their wonder, holistic growth and inspiration, responding to the needs of the world and all people. What does this mean in practice?
Students have the opportunity to participate in a broad and balanced curriculum, which educates the whole person. Through a variety of experiences and involvement in daily devotional life, students and staff grow in their understanding about the Christian Faith, the impact that this can have on their lives and may through the work of the Holy Spirit develop a personal relationship with Jesus. Through the formal curriculum students are exposed to a plethora of information aimed to enhance their intellectual knowledge. They are also exposed to a variety of opinions and perspectives that may be different from their own. Critical thinking and discernment are required to make reasoned decisions about the authenticity of this information and its subsequent application. Service to others is actively promoted and modelled in learning communities and students and staff have numerous opportunities to contribute in this way within their own learning community and the wider community. Importantly, students are also taught to take responsibility for their learning and be accountable for their actions.
Staff equally continue a quest of learning and growing and have the opportunity to reflect on their practice and innovate.
One of the greatest challenges for society is ‘the globalisation of superficiality’. We are at risk of being a society that does not ponder, has limited capacity to analyse and does not reflect. This will potentially lead to loss of wisdom. Our narrative will make no sense unless we have time for reflection. Importantly then we must engage students in a search for truth.
Malcolm Bartsch in ‘A God who speaks and acts’ pg. 23 reflects…
‘once we recognise God’s truth, we are free to examine all other truth claims recognising that they are truth claims which are continually under review. …
Lutheran schools are therefore involved in maintaining the dynamic balance between the affirmation of the truth and academic freedom and open inquiry, between confidence in Lutheran identity and being open to religious diversity, academic integrity and religious freedom. Open inquiry is both a privilege and a mandate – any new truth discovered is yet another truth about what God has done.
This search for truth in the dynamic relationship between revelation and reason also provides the opportunity for students in Lutheran schools to begin to develop a Christian world view; a set of assumptions and presuppositions about the nature of reality. This world view seeks to integrate what is learned through revelation and that which is learned through reason, drawing on relevant insights from various sources, including other cultures, faiths and world views. It provides a holistic view of the world when the norm in society is often fragmentation … A Christian world view can create a vision of hope, recognising that ‘in Christ all things hold together’ (Col 1:17). It is continually developing and expanding as it relates to new experiences and insights, providing the basis and motivation for living. Through the Lutheran school even those who do not identify with the Christian faith can experience a consistent Christian world view which they can reject but which may open them up to the work of the Holy Spirit to bring them to faith.
So then, if education is viewed as a life-long journey, not merely a discrete function that is time and institutionally bound to formal schooling, for each of us, including all members of our learning communities, every day presents itself as a part of a journey leading to discovery where there is opportunity to grow and serve.