Full Research Project 1-5 -Christian Religion as character Reformation in secondary schoolsr Reformation in secondary schools

Full Research Project 1-5 -Christian Religion as character Reformation in secondary schools

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2.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the framework of the study in addition to a review of empirical studies on Christian Religion as Character Reformation in Secondary Schools. The following were taken into consideration during the course of the study:

2.2 Conceptual Framework

2.2.1 Effect of Religious Education on Student

2.2.2 Students’ Character Reformation in Religious Education

2.2.3 Christian Education

2.2.4 Benefits and Purpose of Christian Religious Studies

2.2.5 The General Objective of Christian Education

2.3 Empirical Review of the Study

2.2 Conceptual Framework

Christian Religious Knowledge is an aspect of religion that is peculiar to the followers of Christ. Christian religion was first regarded as a sectional religion. It was a religion of the Jews, then called Judaism or Yahwehism otherwise called Hebrew (Orebanjo, 1992).

Christian religion is being practiced in Nigeria till today because it is a builder of attitude and morality. Religion cannot be separated from education that is the reason why religious education is included in the National Curriculum of Education right from the primary to the university education (Abioye and Adekunle, 1991).

2.2.1 Effect of Religious Education on Student


Religious education forms part of the basic national curriculum for secondary schools. Some individuals have linked religious with social habituation and they have also gone a long way to argue that it has no consign in either a working environment or a schools. At the same time, others believe religion in education have to be about fostering students within a meticulous religious faith system. Over the year’s religious education has actively been known to be a strong promoter of the values of genuineness, fairness, honesty, deference for all and care of the environment. Religious education consign specific emphasis on students appreciating themselves and others, it teaches us the real responsibility of family and the community in religious principle and action, the contentment of diversity in society through of acknowledgment of their similarities and differences, and individual custodianship on earth. Religious education is also acquainted with shifting environment of the general public, including transformations in religious practice and appearance and the authority of religion in the neighborhood, homes, state and in the universal society. (QCDA, 1993).


The study of religious education with students helps to develop the students knowledge and understanding of Christianity and in some cases, not just Christianity but also other religious cultures and other belief systems. Previous studies have also shown that religious education has encouraged students to learn from various religious beliefs, values and culture while at the same time, exploring their own beliefs regarding their religion. This comprehensive study in primary schools has also help students to mature personally and socially as well as refining their psychological judgments and decisions on religious, moral and social issues, preparing them for life in a secular society.


Regarding inclusion, religious education has made a significant involvement principally in its center of attention on promoting value for everyone equally. Religious education has taken a front responsibility in fighting against injustice, unfairness and pessimistic bias. By teaching or providing religious education to students in secondary school means you have just opened the doors to moral development for them. Religious education is a good preliminary point for them and it’s a fundamental way to meet their explicit requirements as this will help to caution them all the way through until they graduate to the next level. (Barnes, 2001) When planning religious education curriculum that will be used in primary school for first year students, the school authority have to put into consideration three principal philosophies that are crucial to the progress of a more comprehensive syllabus:

  • Make provision for appropriate learning challenges
  • Act in response to students miscellaneous study requirements
  • Endeavour to conquer likely difficulties to study and examination for persons and group of students
  • It is widely deemed that religious education build up awareness of major world religions such as Christianity, and as well opening doors for individual expression and sacred maturity.
  • It aggravate demanding subject about the crucial significance and function of life, faith in God, moral issues and what it means to be human.
  • It boosts students‟ consciousness of religious convictions and values, education and outward appearance of expression, as well as the influence of faith on persons, families, societies and traditions.
  • It encourages primary school students to study from different religions, way of life, ethics and customs whilst investigating their own beliefs and questions of significance.
  • The ideal confronts students to reflect on, think, evaluate, understand and appraise on issues of reality, belief, devotion and moral values and to communicate their response.
  • It gives confidence to students; help them to expand their own sense of reasoning and belonging. They are able to prosper independently as persons within their society and as nationals in a pluralistic society.
  • Religious education has an important role to also play in the area of planning students for transition into adulthood and lifelong education.
  • Religious education also facilitates students to build up value and compassion to others, especially those whose faith and way of life are dissimilar from their own. It helps to encourage positive judgment and enables students to fight against discrimination.

2.2.2 Students’ Character Reformation in Religious Education

The skills, understanding and knowledge acquired from religious education in our schools is very vital to the National Framework for Religious Education, it is also important that religious education positively supports students to mature in their attitudes positively to their learning and to the beliefs and values of others.

Below are four attitudes that are very fundamental for excellent and high quality learning in religious education and should be developed at each stage and step of religious education: Self understanding, Value for all, Open-mindedness, Appreciation and wonder.

i. Self-understanding in religious education

 Experiencing self-assurance about their own beliefs and identity and distributing them with no fear of humiliation or mockery

 Increasing a reasonable and optimistic sagacity of their own religious, moral and spiritual ideas

 Recognizing their own uniqueness as human beings and confirming their confidence

 Becoming progressively more susceptible to the impact of their ideas and behavior of other people

 ii. Value for all in religious education

 Developing proficiency of listening and a enthusiasm to learn from others, even when others‟ scrutiny are different from their own

 Being ready to value variation and diversity for the common good

 Understanding that some beliefs are not comprehensive and bearing in mind the issues that this raises for persons and society

 Being prepared to recognize and acknowledge their own prejudice

 Being insightful to the thoughts and ideas of others

iii. Open-mindedness in religious education

 Being willing to learn and gain new understanding

 Engaging in argument or disagreeing reasonably and respectfully about religious, moral and spiritual questions

 Being willing to go beyond surface impressions

 Distinguishing between opinions, viewpoints and beliefs in connection with issues of conviction and faith

Appreciation and wonder in religious education includes students:

 Developing their thoughts and inquisitiveness

 Recognizing that knowledge is bounded by mystery

 Appreciating the sense of wonder at the world in which they live

 Developing their competence to act in response to questions of sense and rationale


2.2.3 Christian Education

Christian Education sees education both as an official, institutionalized process in schools, colleges, universities, workplaces and faith communities and as unofficial development of nurture and development in homes and communities through the media and critical manifestation on lived experience. Young people need to be equipped with the appropriate knowledge needed in today’s society, necessary skills needed to face our challenging society and principles which will help them handle with the understanding, opportunity and complications of becoming an adult. For Christian Education, maturity is more a developmental concept than a motionless differentiation, the identification of independence, sovereignty and yet connectedness with others and the surroundings. Its existence, or nonexistence, can be eminent at any age. Non-formal educations in churches make an impact greatly towards Christian education, with the experience and significance of worship playing a principally influential role for students and young people. Church education programs and other youth work also contribute to the growth of Christian discipleship (Milton, 1974).


In Christian Education, our understanding is the fact that as Christians, the following of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is good news for humankind. It is the exceptional self-esteem of humans to be able to speak out individually with God, a relationship which can go beyond all outward appearance of human defenselessness, even ageing and death. Christian education therefore takes the weight off our feet within the main stream of Christian thoughts about God and humankind, seeking to provide the widest collection of Christian tradition in the UK and beyond. It tries to encourage and teach from an open and comprehensive approach to human acquaintances and thoughtfulness. (Creed, 2007).


Christian education indicates the progression of human prospective, through time and into infinity. The actualization of this prospective is what Christian Education comprehends as learning, both the transactional learning of the child and the transformative learning of the adult, together with the training outcome on each of the circumstance of time and place. Learning of this sort leaves the learner open to change in some way, becoming something other than previously. This is a Christian philosophy of education, communicating what education in its sincerely and most commanding sense is really about. (Creed, 2007).


Another way to express Christian education is considering what education put into the crucial circumstance of the creation of human beings in the representation of God, anticipated for relationship with Him and to be stewards of the creation. Education brings out human nature in the best possibility to achieve total human fulfillment to the glory of God and the good of all. In this sense all education is basically religious for it is grounded in the nature of humanity and its function. It is truly learning what is to be discovered about one’s self, others around us, the world and life. As far as Christians consider that all these originate in and are sustained by a genuine, loving significant power, discovered in the person, teaching, life and new life of Jesus of Nazareth and is seen in the activity and indwelling of His Spirit today, all learning is religious. Science, technology, humanities, languages, arts and crafts and manifests all aspects of this Creative power. Christian

Education understands religious learning to be developmental, preferably making progress from the mode of the dependent child to the mode of the independent adult, from the buildup of fragmented information to the achievement of an all-encompassing life-view. It is work which is constantly in progress and never definitively finalized. (Creed, 2007).

Most importantly, Christian education can also be understood as education into Christianity, just as science education might be seen as education in the sciences. Such explanation would involve the development, nurture and upbringing projected to lead a young person confessing the Christian faith. Such development would include teaching and learning about that faith and understanding something of its relationship to the rest of life. Christian education of this sort might join in varying ways with traditions of catechesis, evangelization or conversion. This understanding of Christian education is important for families that practice Christianity and communities as well as persons, and would take place within the broader values of Christian education described above. It might also be said that this kind of Christian education may provide the inspiration for a Christian approach to education generally. One who admits the Christian faith would want to comprehend the whole of his life as important for that faith. (Creed, 2007).

Christian education is definitely an education about Christianity. As far as this is one of the basics referred to above within education into Christianity such a vision could be seen as a narrower account of Christian education. However, it is not restricted to that, for education about Christianity is significant for non-

Christians too in helping them to be aware of what Christianity is, how it has arisen and grow in history, and what its impact is on the humanity, communities and individuals. It can be seen then, that Christian education is a profound and complex term, where its different meanings and prominence extend beyond with each other.

However, they are all grounded in a fundamental Christian theology, which interprets human life and Endeavour within the reality of God. In this common sense, all Christian education is potentially transformative of human life for it involves some kind of encounter with God either directly or indirectly through His creation. Comparable claims might be made by other religions for education. (Creed, 2007).

In an ideal world there should be a vigorous triangular affiliation between three role-players, the parents, the church and the school. While the parents are the crucial role-players (Deut. 6:7-9), this triangular relationship lay down a responsible arrangement as follows: (Woloch et al., 1974)

Church: The Church preaches Biblical doctrine and truth, which forms the theological foundation of the school and the family. They give confidence and direct parents, from Scripture, to take up their Biblical responsibility to educate and raise their students in the fear of the Lord. At its heart Christianity is a teaching religion Jesus Christ is referred to as the Teacher (John 3:2), the Holy Spirit’s ministry includes teaching (John 14:26) and the Great Commission includes “teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” (Mathew. 28:20). Christianity and the Church have always supported education. (Woloch et al., 1974)

Parents: The parents are the primary role players in the child’s education as well as their upbringing, discipline and nurturing the fear of the Lord in their heart. They support their students going to Church, heeding the Word of the Lord as well as in getting education. (Woloch et al., 1974).

School: The school provides additional information about on the Biblical Worldview, looking at all areas of life, including from mathematics, to the sciences, to the languages and the arts from a Biblical Christian perspective. This is to prepare the Christian child to take authority for Christ and His Kingdom. It‟s an extension of the parent’s mandate to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he or she is old they will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6) and the Church’s permission to “make disciples of all nations” (Math. 28:19).


All of the above three key role players make obligatory to one another and eliminate the mixed communication between the values of the Church and home been put against the secular humanist values of the public school. They mutually support godly discipline and therefore reduce delinquency and increase Christ-like character. Religious discipline allows for superior education, hence better academic achievements. It is important that parents be the main councils of schools to keep responsibility to the utmost level. All above three are subject to the Word of God. (Woloch et al., 1974).

2.2.4 Benefits and Purpose of Christian Religious Studies

A Christian education is an investment.  If all negative influences are eliminated, Christian Religious Studies will make an attractive option. Some say Christian studies cover students from the genuine world. How truthful is that statement? (Livingstone, 1997).

Parents who know that one of their primary responsibilities is to monitor the input there students receive in schooling environment and how that input that they have receive curves their perception of God and His world should consider enrolling their students in a Christian school or schools that offer Christian Religious Education as part of their curriculum. Most parents make an effort to protect their students at home by monitoring the books they read, the television programs they watch, the websites they surf, and the friends they keep outside their homes. Christian schools confirm the significance of this parental responsibility and the reasonably length at which the school goes to actively continue the work parents do. (Livingstone, 1997). The genuine world is the one formed by God in which all things hold together by the supremacy of His Word. Only an education which recognizes the power of God over the dealings of men can be considered an education about the genuine world. To the degree that some state schools fall short to recognize God and give Him His due place, they are protecting students from the truth. Therefore, in actual reality, some schools who do not make provision for Christian Religious Education are the ones which protect students from the genuine and actual world, not Christian schools or schools with Christian Religious Education curriculum. (Livingstone, 1997).

The Christian school works somewhat like a greenhouse which is designed to provide optimum conditions for growth while a plant is young. Students are protected and carefully disciplined to help them mature properly. Even non Christian that also know the importance of Christian Religious Education and add it as part of their curriculum sees a difference in their students behavior because they are well disciplined. When the time comes for them to be transferred into a more antagonistic environment, they are more likely to tolerate difficulties, overcome problems and continue to thrive because they have been nurtured well and has developed a sensitive heart. (Livingstone, 1997).

These schools help to provide support and shorten the duty of Christian home and churches by reinforcing the same values and beliefs. The Christian school that provide Christian education makes the very difficult job of parenting a little bit easier by removing a major source of unquestioned negative influences from a child’s life. (Livingstone, 1997).

Christian schools regularly talk about humanism, evolution, and other concepts enthusiastically accepted by mainstream society, but they do so from a Christian point of view. All of the problems which are part of a sinful world are also carefully discussed. They thrash out clarification based upon Biblical ethics. The school without Christian education teachings ignores the Christian view or presents it as only one alternative from among many. Meaning, pupils cannot be lead rightfully into making the right verdicts. (Livingstone, 1997).

2.2.5 The General Objective of Christian Education

In general, below are some primary objectives of Christian education God-centered Living: this includes the understanding of God’s everlasting purpose, His means of carrying them out, and His revelation to man, understanding the nature of sin and its effects on human beings, and of salvation and its consequences, understanding and aspiration for God-oriented living as evidence of appreciation for salvation as well as appreciating the Christian’s relation to creation.

Self-understanding and Development: this involves attainment of the skills of communication, (speech, reading, writing, number, intellectual inquisitiveness), understanding of one’s own capacities and limitations and how they may be used to the highest level to serve man‟s purposes before God, understanding of the proper care and development of human resources (health, recreation, etc.) improvement of higher interests and appreciations (art, music, literature, esthetic and leisure time pursuits), development and conscious direction of attitudes and habits appropriate to the man of God as well as guidelines of moral and ethical behavior consciously related to God’s revealed guidelines.


Establishment of Responsible Civic and Social Behavior: this includes development of attitudes and behavior patterns toward others consistent with Christian ethics, understanding of the forces and influences within and without which obstruct the development and application of wholesome Christian attitudes, willingness to assume responsibility for wholesome relationships with others (at home, in school, in recreation, in governmental activities), in social relationships, knowledge and understandings of the information and facts necessary for proper perspective in the solution of problems. Vocational and Occupational Effectiveness: This includes understanding of the purpose of work in God’s plan, understanding of the fields of work open to the Christian understanding of one’s own capacities and aptitudes for particular fields of service, appreciation of the work and services of others.


2.3 Empirical Review of the Study

Abioye and Adekunle (1991) were of the opinion that, every subject has its unique value and importance, the uniqueness of Christian Religious Education emerges from its dual function. It is a single subject which aims at simultaneous development of the intellectual ability of the pupils as well as moral character. It also emphasizes the effective domain of education taxonomy – the domain which many seem to be silent about give less emphasis or even neglect completely.

In the same vein, Okafor (1992) said that Christian Religious Knowledge helps to inject sanity into society and to minimize the turning of a nation into a police state by cultivating citizens who acknowledge metaphysical sanctions and therefore, whose acceptable behaviours are often determined not just by external constraints but by spiritual consideration. Abioye and Adekunle (1991) described the Elementary Education Bill of 1870 in the House of parliament as being” To bring elementary education within the reach of every home, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that religious teaching must be give its proper place in a system which was to be formally approved by the state”.

Earlier studies by Butler and Uren (1960) have also shown that lack of interest on the part of students make them to perform low. For example, there is some evidence to suggest that at about age 17, most adolescents reach a crisis in the process of shaping their attitudes to religious beliefs and practices and that this crisis is resolved, one way or the other by about the Lewis (1968) has also confirmed in his study that attitude towards many school subjects can be affected by a host of factors, such as student ability, developmental crisis, lack of textbooks, teachers and school environment.


According to an investigation conducted on the attitude of most secondary school students towards Christian Religious Knowledge, most students that are doing it, do it not because they are interested in it but as an additional subject to complete the number of subjects required in the Senior School Certificate Examination. Some do say, I offer it because I am a Christian. Personal ambition on the part of the students motivates them to learn. It is an intrinsic towards learning and success. While stressing the importance of interest in a student in order to attain teaching, Folayan (1980) commented that: The most significant finding of the analysis of factors influencing the choice of courses (subject—) is that more than half of respondents choose their subjects as they found them most interesting.

Oyetunji (1976) further emphasized on the training of teachers when he stated that: “The number of unskilled teachers of English in West Africa is still very large and discouragingly alarming. It is not only their unawareness of modern techniques but also their mistaken confidence in their own effectiveness which militate against their improvement”. The above shows that there is need for every teacher to be trained in his subject before teaching. In his own contribution, It has been observed that most students get very high marks in their schools, but performed woefully in the school certificate examination. He pointed out that the teachers score their students high when indeed the students least deserved such grades. The false sense of security so created in the students always led to their dismal performance in the public examinations.


Johnson and Rising (1967) were of the opinion that successful and dynamic teacher is always searching for ways to make his instruments more meaningful. They know that the proper use of audio-visual materials may help build in students the space perception and imagination to master ideas. Teaching aids no doubt enable students to learn faster, remember longer, gain more accurate information and receive and understand delicate concept meanings.


Also, Okafor (1992) stressed the role of Christian Religious Knowledge when he noted that “It injects human qualities into their ‘humanness’ for their own good and for the social good”.

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