What is Transformational Education by Stan DeKoven

Many Scriptures declare the importance of gaining Knowledge, such as “Wise people treasure knowledge…” (Pro.10:14), "A wise person is hungry for knowledge (Pro. 15:4), and"Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge (2 Peter 1:5 NLT).

The following teaching by Stan DeKoven explains how to gain knowledge for discipling nations with Transformational Education. 

The Definition of Transformational Education: An educational program, which maintains academic excellence while emphasizing strong practical activation of the Word to Kingdom life and practice.

This style of education is centered on a Hebraic model of education rather than a traditional Greek model.  It goes far beyond the prevailing mindset in which there has been a tragic divorce (separation) between teachers and students.  Teaching has been redefined as what the teacher SAYS rather than what the student learns. 

 The current model of Christian education we could call a “banking model” of education – knowledge is “deposited” into students – almost as if their heads were opened up and knowledge poured in – or like music and movies get downloaded from the Internet onto a computer.  In this model of education students are passive.  Their job is to learn whatever the teacher tells them so they can pass exams.

The Student/teacher relationship is not really essential.  In this model the teacher’s primary responsibility is to cover the material and convey the necessary information.  The student’s responsibility is to memorize the information and regurgitate it for the exam.

There is NO precedent in Scripture for teaching the mind just for the sake of academia, to fill the mind with facts, or to get a credential!  Teaching is for the purpose of seeing the student “transformed after the image of the God who made him.”  Every thought is to be brought captive to Christ – the mind of Christ is what we are to model and teach. 

Thus, for a system of education to be transformational it must be intensely personal, and relationship driven – a system that trains us to “think God’s thoughts after Him”.

Summary of Transformational Education:

·        Learning that is characterized by transformation in the life of each student,

·        Teachers who exist to serve the student and they accept their primary responsibility before God to cause their students to learn.  (If the student is not learning/changing then the teacher is not truly teaching the student.),

·        Mentorship (truth is communicated in the context of modeling and relationship),

·        Decentralized classes -- courses are taught within the context of strong apostolic covering (fathering) and local church family life.

·        Students are expected, and required, to personally activate the truth in the context of their lives and ministries (“doing” vs. “memorizing”).

The Platform for Transformational Education

Five “C’s” form the platform from which Christian transformational (holistic) education is accomplished:

1. Christ - All teaching will be centered in Christ – seeking to bring students into a Christ like life and thinking.  To accomplish this goal, the teacher must them self be in a right relationship with the Lord Jesus.  The teacher and his teaching must flow out of a walk with God and out of a relationship with Jesus.

2. Community - Learning will be carried out and proven in the context of community life (relationship).  The student’s personal relationship with Jesus will be expressed and worked out in the daily life of his various communities: his family, his church community, the teams he is a part of, and the broader community of the world.

3. Character - Building strong character will be the goal of all training. (Not just impartation of knowledge.)  The indwelling life of Christ expressed and worked out in community will develop godly character.

4. Calling - Will be observed, developed, and proven within the community. 

5. Competency - Competency in a particular area of life and ministry is developed and nurtured in the environment of a loving community.

Description of Transformational Teachers and Students

Transformational Teachers Must:

1.        Have successful experience within the field in which they are teaching.

2.        Build a mentoring relationship with students (Through personal interaction and exemplary living).

3.        Communicate all material with a purpose of transformation in the life of every student.

4.        Give student assignments that will cause the learner to interact with the material and personalize the concepts – learning will be seen as doing. (It is not about memorization of material).

Transformational Students Must:

1.        Demonstrate personal passion and ability previous to enrollment.  (i.e. personal involvement in cell leadership, church planting, discipling, evangelism.)  They have demonstrated “fruit” bearing and the passion to move into new levels of greater (“more fruit”) production.

2.        Be in relationship with apostolic leadership and committed to the vision of the leadership. 

3.        Be actively involved in Christian Community (local church) so that they can be tried and proven in the fire of relationship.

4.        Be applying what they are learning to personal life and ministry. (Doing what they are learning.)

5.        Must be striving to become a catalyst for transformation within their sphere of influence (spiritually, culturally, etc.). 

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© Stan DeKoven / http://www.vision.edu