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Teaching for Transformation Series: Student Surveys

November 27, 2019
By Ann Steenwyk

Dear Parents and Friends of SCS,

You may remember that my blog series this year is focusing on our Teaching for Transformation training, an eight module series of training alongside Oostburg Christian School.  Through this training we are helping our students to see God’s redemptive story and practice “living” in God’s story both in and outside of the classroom.  

As part of the training, we surveyed all of our students K-12 to get an idea of our strengths and challenges and to see how our students think about their education.  Although the results of the survey are extensive and very detailed, I’ll do my best to summarize some of our students’ responses here.

What makes our school a Christian School?

K-5:  54% of students responded:  “We learn and talk about Jesus, God, and the Bible.”  The other 46% shared about learning to be Christlike, worshipping God, praying, and learning to be servants.

6-12:  47% of students responded about having worship.  34% indicated that Christian perspective and worldview make our school a Christian school.  56% commented on having Bible classes and the freedom to learn and talk about God.

Why is school important?

K-5: 58% of students indicated school is important for learning.  25% indicated that it is important to learn about God.

6-12:  54% indicated school is important to get a good career.  52% indicated that school is important to learn about the world.  17% indicated it’s important to learn about God and Christianity.

When does our school meet our mission statement?

6-12:  50% of students indicated that we meet our mission statement through teaching from a Christian perspective and worldview.  35% responded through Bible classes, worship, and service. 9% felt our school doesn’t meet our mission statement.

What does our school have in place that is “opposite” of our mission statement?

6-12:  17% responded that there is nothing “opposite” of our mission statement.  14% indicated our students don’t act Christlike.

Give an example of when your faith is a part of your learning.

6-12:  21% indicated that this happens in Bible classes.  23% indicated that this happens through assignments, in classwork, tests, Bible Portfolio, and journaling.  4% of students indicated that faith is not a part of their learning.

What do you wish your learning looked like?

6-12:  31% indicated they would like more “hands on” learning. 14% indicated that they wanted more “real world” experiences and more discussions about God.

When the teachers studied all of the data in detail, a few simple truths about our school emerged.  

First, although our students are being taught and are learning about what it means to be a Christian in this world, they aren’t necessarily being given opportunities to live it out in this world. 

Second, we noticed that although worship was rated high as being a part of our school, there is a disconnect in that our students don’t view worship as being a part of learning. (It is seen as something separate.)

Our students’ responses have helped us to consider new ways of teaching and helping them to be ready to “impact the world, both near and far, for Christ.”  We are looking forward to helping them become responsive disciples! We will continue to share with you the ways we are doing this at SCS.

“Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

In His Grace,

Ann Steenwyk
Director of Academics & Instruction