Charles Sturt University
A Pedagogy and Theology of Kindness: Freedom to Teach and Learn
It is exciting to learn in an environment where people are kind to each other and are gifted the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Applying a pedagogy and theology of kindness within the classroom can help provide people with the emotional and spiritual support and resources needed to grapple with epistemologies outside their comfort zone. Many consider the provision of pastoral care and kindness in education as a mark of quality teaching and learning. A pedagogy and theology of kindness bring numerous strengths to a teaching and learning environment as it has the potential to make all stakeholders visible, including those people who risk going unnoticed. It allows people to contemplate: the implementation of educational policies; the why, what and how something is taught; and how it’s received. When kindness in teaching and learning happens, all stakeholders have the freedom to negotiate and co-construct knowledge. Such an approach to teaching and learning is consistent with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 requirements. This presentation will introduce a pedagogy and theology of kindness via an integrated lens with an epistemological base in social work, sociological and theological (Christian). It will share insights from two illustrative case studies: first, Jesus and His teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan to a lawyer and 72 people, and second, the experience of an overseas student struggling with studying a workplace learning subject. Further, I will explain how a pedagogy and theology of kindness is revolutionising my teaching practices and ensuring quality learning. I will share how it allows me to redesign a curriculum, assessment tasks, subject materials, and lectures in new and helpful ways. These redesigns aim to be nurturing and more authentically focused on and directed by the people in the classroom.
Teaching & Learning (D.3)