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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

BOTHA, Carolina  and  VAN DEN BERG, Jan-Albert. Living out a calling to teach: A practical theological engagement. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.1, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1609-9982.

South African teachers are confronted with a plethora of stressors on a daily basis. Often their experience of having a calling to teach is silenced by the realities they have to face. Becoming more aware of the presence of God in their classrooms might turn them into practical theologians. This in itself does not eliminate the factors that cause stress, but it becomes the driving force that keeps them coping in times of duress. Through a constant migration between theory and praxis within the habitus of practical theology, the academic discourses about teachers and about calling are explored. This specific context creates a moment of praxis where they can explore their identity as Christian teachers and their endeavours to create schools driven by their calling. The realisation that they are practical theologians has a profound effect on the different relationship-spheres in which teachers function. Thus they become empowered to be the hands and feet of God in their classrooms and, in turn, serve as agents of hope for their learners and for one another.

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