Philosophy of Christian Liberal Arts Education
Robert MillimanEducation may be defined as an action or process of formal teaching by precept, example,or experience that results in the knowledge of information and skills, and mental,spiritual, and aesthetic development.This definition includes five essential components of education that each may beidentified with a word beginning with the letter “a”: (1) The
of education are theteachers and students. (2) The
of education is the outcome in the students desired bythe teachers, i.e., that which must be learned and that into which one must develop. (3)The
of education are teaching by the teachers and learning by the students. (4)The
of education is the curriculum or course of study taught by the teachers toachieve the desired outcome in the students. (5) The
of education is theevaluation of the desired outcome, curriculum, teaching, and learning in order tomaximize each of these componentsEffective education depends upon the extent to which each of the actors, teachers andstudents, understand and fulfill their roles with respect to the other essential componentsof education. Teachers have the primary responsibility for successful student outcomes.Furthermore, this responsibility of teachers is the one over which all educators, not onlyteachers, but also administrators, have the most control.Teachers initiate education by establishing desired student outcomes: the desiredknowledge of information and skills, and mental, spiritual, and aesthetic development.Next, they create the curriculum in the form of programs, and the courses of which theseprograms consist, to accomplish these objectives. They then teach the curriculum withmethods designed to elicit learning. Finally, they assess the learner for the achievementof outcomes, and they also assess their teaching for its effectiveness in obtaining theoutcomesThe curriculum utilized to accomplish student outcomes in Christian education willcenter on the liberal arts. The liberal arts are comprised of those disciplines that seek todescribe and interpret the cosmos and human existence. Therefore, they deal largely withmetaphysical issues, matters that have the greatest significance for life. For example, theliberal arts equip one to make judgments about ideas and values, answering suchquestions as the following ones: What is the meaning of life? What is true? What is just?