Jerome W Berryman


One of the most challenging aspects of religious education is learning how to speak and be Christian. The author suggest that this requires a special kind of method: a method that must be aware of the paradox of being both a teacher of Scripture, and yet not being in ultimate control of how that set of tools will be used. This article puts forward a novel approach to teaching Scripture to young children, by consciously and extensively using the role of play in the learning process. The method described here is based on important elements of the Montessori approach to education, and has been developed by the author in the Children’s Center in Houston, Texas, in close co-operation with the International Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy. A detailed description of the theoretical basis of the method and its application in practice is given here. A spiral curriculum that begin in early religious experiences and the acquisition of related religious language is advocated, which winds out into the creation of new realities as the experience and thinking of the child becomes differentiated. The aim is therefore to conceptualize a new frame of experience for teaching Scripture, which conserves both a commitment to and respect for Scripture, and an openness and awareness of modern experience and language.


Religious education; Teaching Scripture to children; Montessori

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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