(A Value-Laden Teaching Approach)
By Wensdy S. Casio
Many educators would agree to me if I say that there is no single strategy to use to achieve an end in teaching; we will sort every step to look for an appropriate approach to deliver our lesson effectively. The clamor to restore Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) in our curriculum clang to the doorsteps in the Department of Education due to the worsening attitudes of our learners today.
We do not overly generalize that all students had this bad behaviors but the reality does dictate us to the disturbing misbehaviors of many learners today. Who among us in the teaching field, never knew about the increasing numbers of students got involved in pre-marital sex that leads to teenage pregnancy, early exposure to lewd videos and vulgar language, bullying and peer pressure to sip the venomous taste of prohibited drugs and many more, with these escalating scenarios happening within our wards who will not be anxious to look for possible solutions to address the issue.
I’m not offering a key that will solve the entirety of the above mentioned problems because that is next to impossible, what I’m here to share are simple but useful biblical metaphors to integrate value-laden teaching approach to create an atmosphere of positivity.
With due respect to our Muslim and Non-Christian learners, I know that religious views and beliefs should be considered in order for us to work harmoniously, but I will use Bible verses to expound my point.
As a literature teacher we often taught our students to incorporate figurative language to spice up their writings. Don’t you know that the bible is a vast source of literary pieces that we can use in teaching figures of speech? Let me share a few.
In discussing simile that uses like or as to signal comparison; I will borrow the verse written in Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” two contrasting ideas were compared in this verse word fitly spoken and apples of gold in pictures of silver which means if we carefully choose words that are appropriate and suited at the right time in a proper context then the words we uttered is liken to a custom-made piece of jewelry.
Still on simile talking about an arrogant man; Proverbs 25:14 “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain” which means people who promise things that they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Imagine this thing, we wanted to experience rain because there’s drought and so if you saw that the sky was darkened accompanied with the blowing of the wind but didn’t gave rain, Uh what a disappointment.
Next, how about Metaphor that directly comparing to unlike objects; Psalms 23:1”The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” here the scripture used Lord and Shepherd to profess security that if you have a shepherd like that of the Lord you have everything you need. He will protect from wolves, he leads you to green pastures and he will surely protect you. Similarly in Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it” we all know that in the ancient time tower are fortress in times of trouble, that symbolizes stability and defense so in the name of the Lord is an aegis and security in times of tribulation.
I still remember a story entitled “The World is an apple” at first, to a secular they will find it difficult to establish connection of the phrase but if you have orientation in the bible you can immediately linked it to the fall of man. Of course we need to clarify that “apple” is not the forbidden fruit in the book of Genesis but somehow there are tales that tried to build the connection. So the simplest interpretation could be the world is full of sinners, since the apple symbolizes the reason of the fall of man. Captivating but destructing!
This time Apostrophe that addresses directly an abstract quality, object or absent person. Psalms 3:3 “But you are a shield around me, O Lord!” while in Isaiah 1:2 “Hear o Heavens, and give ear O earth” these two verses in the old testament are good examples to discuss indirect type of personification. Psalms 43: 5 “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God,”
Truly the book of Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were written rhetorically to impart life’s values. Good examples of figurative language are not only in the old testaments books; because we cannot underscore the examples written in the New Testament. Let’s take a closer look in the book of Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen” a classic example about antithesis which is the rhetorical contrast of something or someone. Another example for antithesis written in epistle of James 3:10 “Out of the mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing, my brethren these things ought not so to be.”
We can also found in the Bible an example of Chiasmus a verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed Matthew 9:13 “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”
Paradox is statement that appears to contradict itself, look on this verse in Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Undoubtedly literary devices and techniques are indispensable tool to convey our message more rhetoric but to use bible verses in discussing the topic will for sure bring positive results may be not in an instant but gradually the seed of God’s word implanted to their mind will grow in time. For in His mighty words were written “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void,”
Yes values should be taught first at home but these learners were under our wards so the next stime you discuss this topic why not try use this one.