A practices approach

Short course Christian Education

  • Startdate 1 Sep 2022
  • Study duration <1 year
  • Level Postgraduate continuing professional education
  • Type Full time
  • Costs €1975,-
  • Study load 15 ECTS

Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education offers the short course ‘Christian education: a practices approach’. In this course we deepen our understanding of Christian education worldwide by reflecting on which views on educational practices are effective and how they can be evaluated from a Christian perspective. The course has three strands: the content strand, the personal development strand and the innovation / research strand.

The short course is part of the Master’s programme on Christian education. As a participant in the short course you will join the international learning community of Master’s students. The short course is a blended learning programme. The course is taught by expert (guest) lecturers from different nationalities.

Course Content  

Within an international community of students and expert (guest) lecturers you will extend your theoretical and practical understanding of Christian education. Using the philosophy of education, we reflect on which views on educational practices are effective and how they can be evaluated from a Christian perspective. Starting from observations in the practice of Christian Education in the Netherlands, participants will be introduced to a variety of practices worldwide. 

We frame current views within the practices approach of Christian education (Smith & Smith, 2009), and study the approach’s background and recent research findings. By studying theory and reflection on their own practices, this course helps participants to enrich their practice (or the practices they serve) with insights into Christian pedagogy. We will study the dominant neoliberal approach and the constructivist approach, and how these philosophies have an impact worldwide. 

Participants will learn how to recognize those influences and will be invited to reflect critically from their own religious background. In the research / innovation strand participants will examine the current situation of their institute(s) and explore which innovations are needed in their own practices (practice-oriented research). The personal development strand is aimed to reflect on the professional role of the participants, and it is focused on the integration of knowledge and practice. 

At the end of the course the participant: 

  • Knows the background of the practices approach. 
  • Knows the differences from the ‘worldview’ approach. 
  • Knows the background and influence of neo-liberal thinking in education. 

At the end of the course the participant: 

  • Understands the reasons and justification of differences in Christian Education practices.  
  • Is able to answer the question: can a teacher make his/her teaching specifically Christian?  
  • Is able to distinguish influences of current philosophies in practices of education in his/her own cultural context. 
  • Is able to critically reflect on current philosophies and is able to formulate his/her own opinion. 

At the end of the course the participant: 

  • Is able to summarize the history of the school. 
  • Is able to mirror relevant information from articles and from a self-chosen studied book to their own context. 
  • is able to mirror observations in another context to their own context. 
  • is able to apply the insights of historical educators to their own vision of education. 
  • Is able to explore the current context of their school with help of frameworks offered during the course and with help of the gathered sources in formative assignments. 
  • Is able to initiate a small project as application of the practices approach. 
  • Is able to formulate an educational vision for their own school. 
The course will be taught by:
  • Prof. Bram de Muynck (the Netherlands)
  • Prof. Trevor Cooling (United Kingdom)
  • Drs. Willemieke de Jong (the Netherlands)
  • Drs. Ellen Aanen (the Netherlands)
We offer credits for the course according to the Bologna system (the European Credits Transfer System, ECTS). After completing the short course, you will receive a Driestar Christian University Certificate, indicating that you have completed the 15 ECTS credit course.
The course is offered to experienced teachers, principals, school leaders and people who work in educational aid organisations.

Admission requirements: 
  • You require a bachelor’s degree in the field of Education to be admitted to the master’s course. If you work in education and you have obtained a bachelor's degree in a different field, you can still apply and you can gain access to the programme on the basis of a positive outcome of the admission interview.
  • You work in education or a related workplace. Since an innovation in the student’s own environment is an important part of the programme, students need to guarantee the support of their institution to attend the course and the potential to carry out an innovation in their class, department and/or institution.
  • All students must prove that they have good writing and conversation skills in English. If English is not your native language, you must provide a result from an internationally recognized test of English/certificate (more information: see ‘English language requirements’).
  • A positive result follows the admission interview (more information: see ‘Application procedure’).
The short course programme consists of online lectures, group assignments, individual assignments, reading literature, a final assignment and participation in the on-campus seminar. You should expect 420 hours of study for the short course, spread over the full duration of this course. That means that, beside the on-campus seminar, you will need to spend around 19 hours a week on individual study or online group assignments. The on-campus seminar is held halfway through the course, has a fulltime programme and participation is compulsory. During the on-campus seminar you will have the opportunity to visit schools and gain teaching practice in schools in the Netherlands. 
Semester 1 (online lessons) 30 August 2022 - 28 January 2023
On campus seminar in Gouda Monday 19 September – Friday 30 September 2022

On-campus seminar

The on-campus seminar will be held from 19 September 2022 - 30 September 2022 (provisional dates). We expect you to be present at 9 AM on Monday. The on-campus seminar will be held at Driestar Christian University, which is located in Gouda (a town between Rotterdam and Utrecht). During your stay in the Netherlands, you will have the option of being provided with accommodation and food. Accommodation is available from Friday 16 September 2022 until Friday 30 September 2022. Information on the cost of this accomodation can be found on the accommodation tab. Making use of this accommodation is optional.
Tuition fee: € 1.997,-

Funding your study

If you are thinking about applying to this course and are currently exploring financial aid opportunities, you may be eligible for a scholarship. Here you can find some information about scholarship programmes


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