Access International School is founded on a Biblical philosophy of teaching with belief that people have a fundamental sin problem as a result of an inherited sin nature. This problem is spiritual and it impacts the mind, will, and emotions as well as the physical well-being of the individual and society. The effects of the sin nature permeate every level of human social interaction and the result is an environment that is full of stress and conflict. This environment that results from sin influences the process of learning. Scientific evidence confirms that the environment has a direct impact on the types of neural pathways that are formed in the prefrontal lobe of the brain in early development, either enhancing or inhibiting modalities that are necessary for learning. In other words, the environment a child experiences in their early years determines the learning pathways that are functional in their brain! One example of the effect of environment on neural development is in the visual cortex where experiments on kittens show that pathways in the optic nerve, the lateral geniculate formation, and the visual cortex do not develop normally in the absence of light stimulus. For humans, early development begins in the embryo and continues into early childhood, which means that neural pathways for learning modalities are still forming during Kindergarten and grades 1, 2, and possibly later.
Amazingly, God provided a solution to the sin problem through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sin and, by His resurrection from the dead, He re-established our capacity for personal relationship with Him. This new kind of relationship is both redemptive and transformational. It redeems us in our standing with God as His children and it transforms us into the likeness of Jesus Christ; it transforms our minds, will, and emotions. It also transforms our relationships and the environment in which our children grow, thus providing the ideal environment for a child to realize their full brain development.
Our transformational classrooms are focused on extending the transforming power of a personal relationship between God and the administrator to the teacher and then to the classroom. This means that the administrator-teacher-student web of relationships is the context in which transformational education takes place, with Jesus Christ as the center. In order to implement this strategy it is necessary to have the Bible as the guide book as well as administrators and teachers who are in a vibrant relationship with God. It is also necessary for the administrators, teachers, and students to be connected by healthy and effective relationships.
In summary, the goal of a transformational classroom is to change administrators, teachers, and students into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ includes training in knowledge, understanding, wisdom, character, faith, hope, and love. This is what we call transformational education and it is concisely expressed in a verse in the Bible in which the apostle Paul writes to Timothy, "the goal of our teaching is love from a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith."
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Some use the term transformational education to describe skills or attributes of individuals who are great teachers. We use the term to describe learning that occurs in relationships that connect people as they are being transformed by Jesus Christ. This section is about creating a web of relationships between administrators, teachers, and students, we call this the TCR (Web of Transformational Classroom Relationships). We have also used the acronym SCAN to communicate the relational dynamics that take place in the TCR. SCAN stands for Servanthood, Credibility, Authority, and Nurture. Administrators, teachers, students, and parents have all testified to the power of this web of relationships to transform their lives.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”