International Symposium of schools500reformation
What are the challenges for Protestant education worldwide today? How do theology and pedagogy intertwine for the formation of young people through their experience in the communities of Protestant schools? What role does quality criteria play in the development and evaluation of Protestant education?
Three days in December, 2016, were spent discussing these very topics, resulting in the first draft of a Global Charter for Protestant Education. The Symposium was organized by the Education Department of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). It continues the momentum of the schools500reformation project (For more information, see http://schools500reformation.net/). This year we recognize the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Leading up to the anniversary year, the schools500reformation project has been stimulating a network of Protestant schools worldwide to connect their students, share thesis statements in the manner of Luther’s original 95 theses, and provide mechanisms for communication between administration and teachers among the schools to encourage one another and learn from each other.
Representatives from ALEA at the Symposium included Eljay Abadiano, Stephen Rudolph, John Lai, Ruth Wong, and Iantha Scheiwe. During the three days, the participants shared stories, provided cultural contexts to education, enlightened each other on the perception of language and ideas in different regions of the world, and celebrated the mission of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Protestant schools. The Symposium’s task was to generate a statement for Protestant education that could be used by schools to encourage conversation regarding their mission with people who are unfamiliar with the concept of Protestant education. It also serves to highlight the distinctives of Protestant education in those places where the form of education may be common place, but the conversation around purpose of our schools could be reinvigorated. The statement will continue to be edited and refined during the next two months. We look forward to sharing the text through the ALEA network later this spring.
As part of the Reformation anniversary celebrations in Wittenberg this year, the EKD is also organizing a celebration of how the Reformation impacted education. Students are invited to a summer camp in Wittenberg in June, 2017. Arrangements for the camps are being made now (http://schools500reformation.net/wittenberg2017/international-schools-camp/). If your students are unable to participate in the camps in Wittenberg, you can also join the Global schools500reformation day (http://schools500reformation.net/wittenberg2017/global-schools500reformation-day/).
ALEA thanks the EKD for including us in the Symposium.