Some ideas for further reading

You can explore the ideas that have informed this project further here. This page also suggests some further reading for those who want to place the ideas on this site in a larger context or pursue particular strands in more detail.

The following reading is directly focused on the question of how a Christian school can connect its faith framework to its educational practices:

Trevor Cooling "The Distinctiveness of Learning in Church of England Schools" in Worsley, Howard (ed), Anglican Church School Education: Moving Beyond the First Two Hundred Years (Bloomsbury, 2012)

John Cox, More than Caring and Sharing: Making a church school distinctive (Kevin Mayhew, 2011)

Shahne Vickery (ed.) Living Values: A practical guide to rooting your school in Christian values (Jumping Fish, 2011) Available from Diocese of Gloucester, Church House, Gloucester. GL1 2LY. Go to the website for a free downloadable chapter.

Exploring the background thinking

Perhaps the best next things to read next to get a deeper understanding of the background to the approaches offered here are the following books:

Surprised by Hope / Virtue Reborn

Tom Wright's Surprised by Hope (SPCK 2007) and Virtue Reborn (SPCK 2010)  are accessible starting points for exploring further theological questions about connecting Christian faith to spiritual and moral formation.

Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning

David I. Smith and James K. A. Smith, in their book Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning (Eerdmans, 2011), explore an approach to Christian education that is focused on Christian practices, with examples from higher education.

Communities of Practice: Learning, meaning and Identity

Etienne Wenger's Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) (Cambridge University Press, 1999) offers substantial further discussion of how people learn through taking part in shared practices together.

Growing in the Life of Faith: Education and Christian Practices

Craig Dykstra's Growing in the Life of Faith: Education and Christian Practices approaches faith formation in terms of the importance of Christian practices.

If you want to dig deeper still, there are many scholarly volumes exploring the nature of shared practice and its relationship to formation, and they come from a variety of disciplines. None of the following are by any means a light read, though each represents an important contribution.

Philosophy: After Virtue: A Study in
Moral Theory

In philosophy, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory by Alasdair MacIntyre (3rd edition, University of Notre Dame Press, 2007) remains a seminal work looking at the relationship between practices and virtues.

Sociology: Outline of a Theory of Practice

In sociology, the challenging work of Pierre Bourdieu, especially his Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology) (Cambridge University Press, 1977), includes a focus on how people are shaped by participation in social practices.

Education Theory: Schooling as a
Ritual Performance

Peter McLaren's book Schooling as a Ritual Performance: Towards a Political Economy of Educational Symbols and Gestures (Culture and Education) (3rd edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 1999) approaches education theory in terms of shared practices and offers a study of one Roman Catholic school.

Theology: Practicing Theology

In theology, the volume Practicing Theology edited by Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass (Eerdmans, 2002) contains a number of useful essays exploring important theological concerns around a focus on practices.

Distinctively Christian Learning?

Distinctively Christian Learning? What might it mean for teaching and learning to be distinctively Christian? This is a topical question, particularly for the Church of England, now that Christians can sponsor government-funded schools.

This book explores a way forward, drawing on the insights from the international ‘What If Learning’ project. It includes both discussion of the issues and practical examples from classrooms.

How God Became King

How God Became King 'It has been slowly dawning on me over many years that there is a fundamental problem deep at the heart of Christian faith and practice as I have known it . . . we have all forgotten what the four gospels are about'.

With this surprising and radical assertion, highly respected theologian and former Bishop of Durham Tom Wright launches a groundbreaking work sure to shake up and revolutionise much Christian thinking on the very heart and meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Tom Wright leads us, intelligently and graciously to seeing the new reality of the gospel story; one that is so explosive that the church in many generations has found it too much to take and so has watered it down rather than allowing its full impact to be felt.