Page 17 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - DBU Journal for K-12 Educational Leadership

Journal of K-12 Educational Research 15 of expertise, they both substantiated the relevance and alignment of the God Cards to these areas of expertise. Figure 1 explains the collective benefits from both groups of experts. Implications The God Cards plan and accompanying curriculum is one of several spiritual formation curriculums available for parents to use with their children. As the review of literature noted, there are many curriculums that a parent, guardian, and Bible study teacher could use. There has also been research to uphold the role of parents in a child’s life and the need for parents to be intentional with their time. This process of spiritual formation or discipleship “is our journey with Jesus and those He loves…Parents serve as the [children’s] primary guides and home is the central hub for spiritual growth” (Shirley, 2019, p. 73). There is also research related to best practices in teaching and learning so that a child retains the information taught to them. Last, there has been research and plans related to spiritual formation and how one would go about developing someone spiritually. What marks the current study as unique is the combination of all these components into one study and one plan. The current study celebrated the role of parents and the opportunity for them to train and disciple their children. It described spiritual formation with a focus on attributes of God and evaluated a present spiritual formation curriculum called the God Cards by a panel of spiritual formation experts in the fields of non-profit, higher education, and church leadership. This group of spiritual formation experts determined the most important attributes of God to study from this curriculum and unanimously supported the God Cards curriculum as an effective spiritual formation resource for parents. The God Cards curriculum pulled together the research on how one is spiritually formed through the teaching of God’s word in the context of the most important relationship—family (Barna, 2005, 2007; Meade, 2000; Powell & Clark, 2011; Sproul, 1992). As one of the spiritual formation experts, Shirley (2019), wrote in Family Ministry and the Church, parents are stewards of the children they receive from God, regardless of whether they are related through blood, adoption, or guardianship. The day-to-day practice of this stewardship should not be based on human wisdom, but on the truth of God’s Word. The Bible is a necessary resource for raising children and guiding their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors (2 Tim. 3:16-17). (p. 149) The current study also focused on alignment with the best practices of teaching and learning as described in the Constructivist theory (Vygotsky, 1926). The education experts evaluated the God Cards curriculum to ensure its alignment and again unanimously agreed that it is an effective resource for retention and learning. Integral to the delivery of the God Cards is the focus on previous learning and the repetition of the cards through the years (Ennis, 1992; Jensen, 1998). The panel of education experts also noted the strength of the sensory based understanding in the curriculum and even encouraged more with video and media (Hein, 1991; Medina, 2014; Wolfe, 2001). Combining theory, research, and practice, the current study confirmed previous research in this area of best practices in teaching and learning and offered a complete curriculum and plan for a parent to use in the spiritual formation of their children. Even those leaders who equip children as teachers and pastors themselves could use this research and resource. The God Cards curriculum is strategic content that yields student success as it originates in the Bible with a focus on attributes of God. It also stems from an experiential approach in teaching and learning so that the information is retained. The crisis in family breakdown continues to escalate, and the dire need for answers to life’s questions and challenges pervade society (Brooks, 2020; Chetty et al., 2014; Cigna, 2018; Cook, 2019; Hymowitz, 2019; Pew Research Center, 2015; Witte, 2015). Resources are needed that answer those questions and build into the foundational and strategic nature of the family. A curriculum like the God Cards that focuses on the attributes of God as described in the Bible is one resource of support for parents investing in their children.