Group Study Guide for

Teaching That Transforms

[Cover of Teaching That Transforms]

Why Anabaptist-Mennonite Education Matters

by John D. Roth

Study Guide written by Dale Shenk, Bethany Christian Schools, Goshen, Indiana.

These questions are intended to expand and deepen appreciation for Roth's book. Although page numbers are not provided in most cases, the questions are given in the approximate sequence that the themes occur in the chapters. These questions are also available for download as a Word document or in PDF format.

Also see Teaching That Transforms in the MennoMedia online catalog.

Introduction Chapter 4
Chapter 1 Chapter 5
Chapter 2 Chapter 6 / Conclusion
Chapter 3  

Chapter 1: The Context of Mennonite Education in North America

  1. Context
    • Tell stories of how some Mennonite schools in your context were formed. You might want to review the list in the back of the book.
    • In many communities there are ongoing tensions between some supporters of public schools and some who are involved in Mennonite education. What is this like in your community?
  2. Educational issues
    • How is the tension between teaching facts and teaching values managed in your schools?
    • Should attending school be required by the nation? Why? Is the formation of patriots important?
    • Many states require some form of standardized testing. Is this theologically positive, negative, or neutral?
    • Schools used to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic. Now there are expectations for computer skills and athletic competition, as well as musical and dramatic experiences. Is this good? Why or why not?
  3. School purpose
    • Many Mennonite schools (especially high schools) were formed as a response to a decline in commitment to pacifism during World War II. Reflect on the patterns in your community.
    • On page 56, Roth notes that some view this model of Christian education to be overly defensive or sectarian. What is your view? Was setting up Mennonite schools effective? Do they continue to serve a useful purpose?
    • Has a decrease in Mennonite populations resulted in a decrease in the Mennonite school enrollment in your community?
  4. Questions to consider
    • On page 62, Roth raises a series of excellent questions. Use these to anticipate his work in the rest of the book. Where do you think he is heading?
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