Lived experience of a Christian school teacher in comparison with the philosophies and policies of Christian Schools International
O'Dell, David Brian
Master of Education
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This study examines and compares the lived experience of a Christian school teacher with the philosophies and policies of Christian Schools International. A qualitative approach was used as the methodology and characteristics o f this research paradigm complimented the purpose of the study. Data were collected, analyzed and interpreted over a period of two years using taped interviews, journals, and non-participant observations. Analysis was conducted using a coding system to categorize, synthesize, search for patterns, and interpret the data. The data were sorted into themes based upon the coding scheme. These themes were then discussed with the teacher for verification and analyzed according to how they contribute to describing the lived experience o f a Christian teacher. Findings of this study provide insight into how a Christian teacher endeavors to fulfill school policies in her pedagogy through curriculum development, evaluation, and building community. Insight is gained into how teaching Christianly moves from influence to theory to practice as I examine the influences o f family and friends, teaching as a calling, learning to teach, metaphors for the teaching experience, molding the intellect, spirituality, and community. Each o f these themes are then discussed in relation to the expectations o f Christian Schools International: love for God; for students; competence and vision; and, building community both within and outside the Christian school.