We aim to develop our students’ capacity for empathy. This is central in our approach to Christian Studies, a subject which is compulsory for all students from Pre-K-12.
By empathy we simply mean being able to see (and feel) things the way someone else is seeing (and feeling) things. In the movie Dead Poet’s Society, the teacher, Mr Keating, says, “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” We invite students to do that. We appreciate the deep wisdom in this line from Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
In Pre-K-6 there is an emphasis on students learning to read and understand the Bible. They may be invited to imagine seeing things from God’s perspective, or asked to step into the shoes of some character in a story they’re exploring. In the Middle School (Years 7-9), students are introduced to philosophical and ethical questions. For instance, they are asked to consider the nature of ‘good and evil’ (Year 8) and to consider contemporary moral issues, such as asylum seekers (Year 9). They are guided in their reflections by engaging in a wide variety of ‘empathy exercises’ as well as by drawing upon the rich resources of the Christian faith where appropriate. Students in Years 10-12 are encouraged to enter into the world of different religious and non-religious traditions as they confront some of the fundamental questions of existence.
Christian Studies Pre-K-12 at Barker College is an innovative, rigorous and engaging program. It equips students with a sound understanding of what is at the heart of the Christian faith, a faith that has inspired many - both past and present. It gives students familiarity with the Biblical narrative. It supports them in their quest to make sense of life. Christian Studies exposes them experientially to a broad range of world views. It prepares them to be informed global citizens. It fosters tolerance and an appreciation of different perspectives. It develops student capacity for empathetic engagement with others and challenges them to act compassionately and courageously. Christian Studies Pre-K-12 at Barker College aims to play a part in the development of well-grounded, well-rounded and highly motivated young adults who are capable of inspiring hope.
Should you have any enquiries about Christian ministry at Barker College please contact our Senior Chaplain, Jeff Ware.
Phone: 02 9847 8353