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Passion for Christian education strong in South Korea

Written on December 1st, 2010

Educational consultant Dan Beerens says he’s excited to see the evidence of a strong passion for Christian education in South Korea.

“I sense the Holy Spirit at work,” says Beerens, who is currently on a speaking and consulting tour with Christian schools and organizations in the country.

“There is a sincerity and openness and passion here in Christian educators that I find appealing.”

Beerens, a resident of Zeeland, Michigan, says both Christian leaders and leaders of industry in South Korea express a strong interest in developing Christian schools. The industry leaders see a good Christian foundation as vital for effective future leaders of the country.

The consultant presented at the International Christian Education Conference, sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools International. The event was attended by about 880 educators from international schools based in places like Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and Russia.

The questions and interactions following his presentations revealed people have a strong desire to continue the growth of Christian education and want to explore the best ways to accomplish that aim.

Beerens adds he’s been encouraged by the number of young educators who are wrestling with the questions of how to best deliver Christian education and who have had global experiences.

Christian schools in South Korea are facing some of the same struggles as those in North America, including the need for curriculum integration, says Beerens.

“Both places need to continue to equip teachers with staff development that helps teachers avoid a dualistic approach, and assists them in delivering coherent instruction that shapes kids’ hearts toward the kingdom of God,” he says.

Teacher evaluation towards ongoing professional growth, as well as development of strong instructional leaders, are also needs in both places.

Beerens suggests it would be helpful to continue to build strong networks and share ideas together, noting the tools to do this electronically are available.

“We need to seek ways to learn together, and this learning can be mutually beneficial. When we share our learning and then wonder with others how what we have learned in our setting might apply in their setting we gain new insights through the process.”

Asked about how what he’s seeing lines up with his own vision for Christian education, Beerens says he is thankful for the opportunity, in whatever context, to share with educators the joy of being able to connect head, heart and hands of students in a truly coherent educational process that is both “sticky” — engaging the learner — and “foolish” — educating toward the wisdom of Christ.

“It has been a privilege and a delight to not only encourage Christian educators here in this context, but to be able to increase my own learning and wonder related to the scope of God’s kingdom and how his Spirit knits everything together,” says Beerens.