Eifler’s stories might just be the jolt that many weary teachers desperately need on a hectic Monday. The stories, many of which have universal themes and characters (the “world’s best kindergarten teacher” teaches lifelong lessons, the troublemaking eighth-grader actually does have a soft spot), will encourage readers to remember that students and peers are examples of grace that continually change perspectives and teach the teachers.
For the educator or parent looking for philosophical and pragmatic ways to implement strategies for religious education in the home or classroom, Groome’s “Will There be Faith?” is the book to read. Groome, director of the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College, is the primary author of religion textbook series and several other books and publications related to religious education.
In this book, Groome fleshes out today’s problems and practical solutions to teaching faith at home, in the community and in school to Christians. Today, he asserts, many parents and educators feel embattled in their own faith, so passing on Jesus’ story and message is particularly challenging.
Throughout the book, Groome offered reflection questions to help readers apply his discussions to their lives. For example, Groome asked, “How would you describe Jesus’ pedagogy, his overall approach to teacher?” and “How does Jesus’ approach compare with your own?”
Groome’s book would be best appreciated if read and discussed over several weeks or months and perhaps with a group of other parents or teachers. If read quickly and without time for reflection, the material presented in the book might seem exhausting and overwhelming. However, when read a chapter at a time, the book will more likely result in an exhaustive discussion and analysis of its main themes: Will there be faith on earth and how can we pass it on to future generations?
Lordan is former assistant international editor of Catholic News Service and a former contributor to Catholic Radio Weekly.