By Jack Hancock, EdD
Our Headmaster Explains NWC’s Response to the Common Core Standards and the Biblically-Based Foundation of All Our Teaching.
Since 1949, Northwest Christian Schools has weathered dozens of educational waves without changing from its original mission and vision, solely because we strive to make the Word of God the bedrock foundation of everything we do. There will be reforms in curriculum, such as the much publicized Common Core, that attempt to shape how we teach, but they do not dictate what we teach.
What makes NWC distinctive is not necessarily what we reject, but what we embrace. At Northwest Christian Schools we embrace the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, and strive to teach every subject, every topic, and every fact from a biblical perspective. The vehicle by which we have chosen to do this is what we call Enduring Understandings.
Enduring Understandings Are…
• Big ideas that give meaning and lasting importance to what our students learn in the classroom.
• Truths that provide the context by which all ideas and facts are interpreted.
• What we want our students to know for a lifetime.
• Principles that are part of transforming a student’s heart.
• Keys to nurturing a students’ worldviews, so that when they student find themselves in a college class,they will interpret what the professor is telling them through the lens of an Enduring Understanding they received at NWC.
An Example from Teaching History
God is Providential (Romans 8:28). History is the canvas that God uses to paint the plan of salvation.
Students are taught this Enduring Understanding. It is posted on the wall. When students study specific historical facts, such as the battles in the Civil War, they learn those facts in light of God’s providence in history. In addition to learning when the war began, they look at how God used the Civil War to further the gospel. While learning about various battles, the providence of God brings the student directly onto the battlefield, listening to a man crying out to God in the final moments of his life.
Since our Enduring Understandings are founded in the scriptures, NWC’s direction will not change as the educational tides bring in another wave of “reform.”
We consistently infuse them into every aspect of our curriculum. We are never stagnant in our learning objectives and continue to grow in knowledge. At NWC, we are striving to make Biblically-based Enduring Understandings the foundation of everything that we do.