About this Project

Diane went to the Dominican Republic to continue with professional development of teacher leaders who will assist other teachers in COCREF Christian schools. She shared the following about the training:

"Throughout the week with the COCREF Dominican teachers and leaders, we continually went back to the opening devotion coming out of Mark 10. In this Scripture passage, Jesus meets numerous people and talks about many different topics:  divorce, the role of little children, the rich young ruler and the kingdom of heaven, predicting his death, James and John’s request, and finally the story of Blind Bartimaeus. What struck us in the story is that Jesus asks Blind Bartimaeus…”What do you want me to do for you?” He had also asked James and John the very same question earlier. What is fascinating is that it should have been obvious to Jesus what Bartimaeus needed or would want.  However, Jesus asks him anyway. He wants to engage Bartimaeus in the revelation of his own sight and discovery of who Jesus was.  

And Jesus ask us too: What do we really want Jesus to do for us? This is an amazing question with all kinds of possibilities, with all kinds of hope and with all kinds of wondering. We too are Bartimaeus, not only in the story but also in the unfolding of the Kingdom of God today.  God asks us to take responsibility, to be involved, to be agents in the working out of his Kingdom.  Does he really need you or I?  No, not really, but since the beginning of time, God has asked us to help Him bring transformation in His world. 

We began to wonder if we, as Teachers and Leaders, could also image Jesus in the story. So often in our work as educators, we have been trained to “know” what children need. We can see it. We can help them…… Perhaps instead we need to pause and reflect whether we should ask the question to our children or to our students, to prompt them to engage in reflecting on what they need or want - particularly as it relates to their learning.

With this in mind, participants designed two projects for participatory learning in COCREF classrooms, and developed workshop materials to apply their learning with other teachers in COCREF schools.

The week together was amazing with these COCREF colleagues and friends. We journeyed together, wondering how to create engaging and flourishing educational spaces in our classrooms, schools and communities. We wondered together how we might ask really good questions to elicit agency from the students and ourselves. We pondered the saying, “WE are CREW not PASSENGERS” that some expeditionary learning schools (EL schools) use to create a culture where learning is both personal and communal and owned by both the students and the teachers.  We reflected that God asks us to be “crew” and not just passengers in the journey of transformation.  

Diane Stronks, Walking Together Learning-Leader, January 2015





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