Information about "What if Learning"


What If Learning arises out of the Charis Project on spiritual and moral development in schools which was based at the Stapleford Centre in the 1990s and out of more recent work on teaching and Christian practices based at the
Kuyers Institute. It has been developed to support schools that aspire to offer a distinctively Christian teaching and learning experience.


Sponsoring organisations

Transforming Lives UK

Transforming Lives is a UK-based, interdenominational project originally managed by The Stapleford Centre. Its purpose is to raise the profile of teaching as a Christian vocation and to support the development of a distinctively Christian and inclusive approach to education.


The Anglican Education Commission Sydney, Australia

Anglican Education Commission Sydney

The Anglican Education Commission exists to support, encourage and challenge Christians involved in learning and teaching, whether it be in churches, pre-schools, schools (government, Christian and Anglican), colleges and universities. It seeks to transform education through recruiting Christians into teaching and by working together with like-minded Christian organisations.

The Kuyers Institute, USA

The Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning is located at Calvin College, an undergraduate institution of higher education in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. The Kuyers Institute is a research institute concerned with Christian contributions to teaching and learning in a variety of educational contexts and at various levels of education. Its work includes research projects, workshops, conferences, and publications relating to the interface between education and Christian faith. It is a co-sponsor of the Journal of Education and Christian Belief. More information about the Institute's current and past projects can be found at

Useful websites

Book list

Here you can find a list of books and articles that explore some of the ideas underpinning the approaches suggested on this site.

You can also find a list of periodicals, both staffroom-oriented and academic, that focus on Christian approaches to education here.


We would like to express our gratitude to the Jerusalem Trust; the Maurice and Hilda Laing Charitable Trust and The Kuyers Institute (Calvin College) whose support made this site possible.

With thanks to the following people:

Margaret Cooling and David Smith for their work on the text.
Gavin Courtney for constructing the website.
Robin Staple and David Morton of the Stapleford Centre for their work on the website.
Sally Smith and Cath O'Connell for reviewing the website.
The staff of the Kuyers Institute for developing the American version of this site.
Reverend Dr. Andrew Angel, Director of Extension Studies and lecturer in New Testament at St John’s Theological College, Nottingham (UK) for his theological review.

With thanks to the following people for examples:

‘What if history could inspire students to love their city?’ based on an original idea by Rachel March at Bradford Christian School.
St Luke’s Primary School Cannock for the idea that became example 7: What if book week were about gratitude and giving?’
Colin Parker for the lesson that became example 99.
David Long for the lesson that became example 103.
Natalie Selby for contributing a number of examples.
Sarah Old.
The writing team: Beth Green, Alison Farnell, Alison Wheldon, David Smith, Trevor Cooling and Margaret Cooling for numerous examples, either gathered from schools or drawing on their teaching experience.

With thanks to the follow people for acting as commentators:

Sarah De Young (USA)
Dan Beerens (USA)
Natalie Selby (UK)
Carolyn Farnell (UK)
Ruby Holland (Australia)
Alison Brown (UK)
Participants in Kuyers Institute (USA) summer workshops in 2010 and 2011

With thanks to the following people who were involved in the initial stimulus group at Vevey, Switzerland

Alison Farnell (UK)
Ray Le Clair (Ukraine/USA)
Graham Coyle (UK)
John Shortt (UK)
Matthias Kägi (Switzerland )
Bryan Cowling (Australia)
Arthur Jones (UK)
Alison Wheldon (Australia)
Sally Smith (UK)
Margaret Cooling (UK)
Trevor Cooling (UK)
Ruby Holland (Australia)
David Smith (USA)

With thanks to the following people involved in the UK review group (UK)

Karin Baker
Tamara Rolfe, St James VA, Derby
Alison Brown, Derby Diocese
Alison Farnell, Coventry Diocese
Richard Farren, Bluecoat School
Suzanne Edwards, Harris School
Beth Green, Liverpool Hope University
Margaret Cooling, Transforming Lives Project
David Morton, The Stapleford Centre
Natalie Selby, Primary school teacher

With thanks to the following people and institutions for giving generously of their time for filming:

St Mark's Church of England Primary School (UK) for allowing us to film a lesson.
Right Reverend Professor NT Wright, Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, St Andrews University (Scotland).
Janet Stickley of Footprints Theatre Company for voice-over.

With thanks to the following institutions for sharing their time and experience:

St Anne’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Baslow (UK).
St Giles Church of England Aided Primary School, Matlock (UK), particularly Elizabeth Mann and the Reverend Julie Stanton for the inspiration for the structure of ‘Seeing Anew’.
St Laurence Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Primary School, Long Eaton (UK).
St Luke’s Church of England Primary School, Cannock (UK).
St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Bristol (UK).
Southwell Minster Church of England School, Nottinghamshire (UK).

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