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ALIGN OR ADOPT?

February 07, 2020
By Dr. P. Ogborne

PICKERING CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

AND THE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION CURRICULUM

 

As we enter into the time of the year of school Open Houses and families looking to register their children for the next school year, we are regularly asked about our handling of the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum and the role it plays here at our school.  PCS’s mission is to provide students with a balanced, Christ-centred education and a solid foundation for service in God’s world.

ALIGNMENT, NOT ADOPTION OF CURRICULUM

Pickering Christian School (PCS) adheres to the admonition in 1Corinthians 10:31 that “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. This belief requires diligence and discernment of what is taught and how it is taught.

We recognize the efforts of professional educators to provide a comprehensive structure in the Ontario Ministry’s published curriculum documents. Key to understanding PCS’s relationship with the Ministry’s documents is our position to align with the expectations set out by them, not to  wholeheartedly adopt them. Although this distinction may seem subtle, the importance of this difference is paramount to understanding our purpose in Christ. Alignment requires deliberate and diligent effort as we seek to continually pursue rigorous school improvement by identifying curriculum that aligns with our core spiritual, educational and emotional values  and that will best lead to instructional improvement and educational excellence for our students.

True Christian education occurs when the truths of Scripture permeate the entire curriculum. This can be compared to ice cream. If you take a bowl of vanilla (core curriculum) and coat it with chocolate sauce (Biblical truth) then you have only created a dish that, if required, can have the two parts separated. The more accurate rendering of Biblical education is that the bowl is totally filled with chocolate ripple ice cream. The sauce is infused in every scoop or bite. One part cannot be separated from the other. Alignment, therefore, requires that all ingredients promote the proper formation of the end product rather than distract or negate the end result. Alignment to the Ministry’s expectations allows our school to add, subtract, reposition, and/or rewrite the documents so they align with our desire to recognize Christ’s work in creating and redeeming “all things” (John 1:3).