Suggestions 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 Howard Worsley, ed., 200 Hundred Years of Anglican School Education (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 (UK), GL1 2LY. Go to the website for a free downloadable chapter.

Exploring the Background Thinking

Perhaps the best 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 (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 is 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 ed., 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 ed., 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 , ed. Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass (Eerdmans, 2002), contains a number of useful essays exploring important theological concerns around a focus on practices.