Friday, November 19, 2010

Reviewing Kenneth O Gangel's Called To Teach

Dr. Gangel was one of the most significant Christian educators in the last century. A leader in Christian education for over forty years, he wrote or edited nearly sixty books. He strongly believed that studying God and His Word are the foundations of Christian education. Dr. Gangel stated, "If there is no integration of faith and learning, there is no Christian education." This was a man that was driven by the gospel and truly lived out his philosophy of education.

In Dr. Gangel's 186-page book, Called To Teach, he provides a compilation of 18 keynote addresses that he delivered from 1978 to 1995 at ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) conventions. Although the book covers some of the practical aspects of teaching, Called To Teach focuses more on the what and why of Christian teaching. The book provides a great deal of Scripture and highlights important events in the history of ACSI. I did not always agree with Dr. Gangel's interpretation of the Bible and felt he could have quoted more theologically sound people, but I still believe Called To Teach can help teachers teach Biblically. It is of the utmost importance that teachers teach Biblically integrated units, but many teachers simply do not understand how to do this. There are many teachers who believe adding a Bible verse to a lesson is Biblical integration. Dr. Gangel shows us that this is not Biblical integration.

Another issue related to improving instruction is that educators often forget that all teachers, not just Bible teachers, are to share the message of Jesus with others. However, Biblical teaching must permeate everything. God has called teachers to be different. Dr. Gangel reminds us that teachers are to be His teachers in His school system in His world in preparation for the coming of His Son.

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."                Philippians 3:14 (English Standard Version).