Something Worth Considering...
"School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is."
— Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, 1973
"... offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God: this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to this world's ideals, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
— Paul of Tarsus, Letter to the Romans 12:1-2
About My Work
First century Christians never gathered for worship — at least, not in the sense that the practices of the Jewish people and the pagan mystery religions represented this. How could they, when Paul had totally redefined the meaning of worship, as the twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week offering of one's whole self to God? But he does not only take a stand against contemporary religious practices. In the passage where he states his view of worship most emphatically, he also evokes a contrast to the educational practices of his age: the nonconformity for which he calls requires Christians to repudiate the ideal of the "cultivated person" then current and to be transformed by the renewal of their minds. Remarkably, the Classical ideal is not far distant from the description of the "educated person" proffered by British philosopher R. S. Peters nearly 2,000 years later — an intellectually sophisticated individual. If serving God is a whole of life affair — not confined to "worship services" — becoming a mature person in Christ is far more than cognitive competence. It involves the whole person. Education (and its institutionalised subset, schooling) must give way to the biblical goal of edification, the upbuilding of people in the image of their Redeemer. How might schools — both Christian and otherwise — be restructured so that they more and more reflect God's desire for human flourishing? This is the question that has guided my practice of and reflection on teaching and learning for almost forty years.
Implications of a biblical perspective on the person, knowledge, values and the world in general for education and schooling.
How a biblical wisdom paradigm in particular might subvert the dominant theory-into-practice paradigm we have inherited from the Classical era.
Critical engagement with contemporary conceptions of curriculum structure and content in order to generate alternative practices.
Learning thankfully from and at the same time seeking to reform theories of learning and modes of teaching in accord with a biblical perspective.
Exploring the legitimacy of plural ways of knowing so that each person may be honoured according to the diverse gifts God has bestowed on each one of us.
Doug Blomberg, PhD
Professor of Philosophy of Education
BA(Hons), PhD (Sydney), MEdSt, EdD (Monash), FACE
Doug Blomberg’s reflections on knowing, learning, teaching and the curriculum are embedded in many years’ experience in Christian schools and education more generally. He investigates how schools might be restructured to better reflect God’s purposes for our lives, bringing biblically-directed insights informed by reformational philosophy into dialogue with classical and contemporary educational understandings. He is the author of Wisdom and Curriculum: Christian Schooling After Postmodernity (Dordt College Press, 2007). His next book draws various theories of learning within the frame of a Christian view of humanness as complex yet integrally spiritual.
Many of my publications can be found listed on the ICS Research Portal. For a more comprehensive list of my publications, please see my CV.
"Educating the Will." (paper presented at the Biennial Conference of the International Christian Community for Teacher Education (ICCTE), Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, May 28-31, 2014). Available as both a slideshow presentation and a PDF file.
"To lead a better life...: A pr/axiological (re)turn in philosophy (of education)." (Inaugural address delivered to the Annual Convocation of the Institute for Christian Studies, January 28, 2005, Toronto). Available as a PDF file.
"I believe in the resurrection of the body." (Exaugural address delivered to the Annual Convocation of the Institute for Christian Studies, May 17, 2019, St. Joseph Chapel, Regis College). Available as both a PDF file and a YouTube video.
More of my files can be found on the ICS Institutional Repository.
Courses and Syllabi
A full list of my courses and syllabi can be found here on the ICS Course Catalogue.
Wisdom and Schooling
Curriculum: Organising the World for Learning
Ways of Learning
Leadership: Vision and Mission
Philosophers of Education
Advanced Foundations of Education (Calvin College)
Doctoral Students Supervised
Shin-ae Won, PhD — Korean Religious Education and the Hermeneutics of Action: Nurturing Intergenerational Relationships (2000-2007)
Shannon Hogan, DMin — Soul Turning: Religious Education and its Influence in the Faith Life of the Religious Educator (2006-)
Fr S. Makacinas, DMin — Transformative Learning in Adult Religious Education (2006-)