Top positive review
Essential Perspectives on Christian Education
on January 18, 2015
This is not a step-by-step "How To" book. Instead, Tye organizes the kaleidoscope of swirling and sometimes disjointed ideas most of us find confusing when we think about Christian education. She creates a clear, coherent framework for these topics so that we can see how they are related. Her writing is crystal clear and a pleasure to read. Each chapter contains a good summary and exercises for reflection and application. A bibliography of further readings and section of notes for each chapter appear at the end of the book. There is no index, but one isn't really needed. This book is among the best written I have seen on any educational topic.
There were some surprises for me. For example, in discussing "context", she mentions the "null curriculum--what churches decide not to teach. This helps to define what churches are willing to think about, and thus to define the nature of the particular faith community. (Think for example of a church that avoids teaching social issues.) Similarly, Chapter 3 ("Purpose: Why Do We Educate?") steps away from the conventional answers to see a larger perspective of what is supposed to be accomplished--ensuring continuity of the community while embracing necessary change required by new circumstances. When she discusses content in Chapter 4, she discusses four "myths" that may confuse us. At first glance these myths are what many of us would consider to be appropriate content, but Tye then shows us that those myths often disguise superficial thinking.
Chapter 5 ("Participants: Whom Do We Educate") was the only chapter that I found a bit technical, but Tye's material was still clearly presented.
If you are personally involved in planning or execution of a Christian education program, you will find yourself thinking very differently about what you are doing after you have read this book compared to what you thought before.