Supporting Journeys of Learning within and Across Communities of Faith

Analyzing the relationship between faith and critical thinking, it can be seen that their connection revolves around their ability to interact and justify personal perceptions and ideas. Here, it can be seen that critical thinking corresponds to a person’s depiction of reality and illustrates the ability to think and evaluate situations as it relates to themselves and the environment they are in. By using particular standards and criteria, individuals are then able to distinguish relationships and validate truths based on these precepts (Rusbult, 2001).

Faith on the other hand seeks to showcase the ability of an individual to use personal as well as experiences to identify connections with a certain belief or principle. The manner that people portray faith corresponds to establishing connections between themselves and either a higher being or principle (Lullianarts, 2003). Such dynamics then demonstrate the capacity to individuals to identify truths based on their personal beliefs and the manner it is related to them from the community and in the environment.

Seeing these definitions, despite the corresponding differences of how critical thinking and faith approach truth, each one complements one another in utilizing rationality and experience to create a person’s outlook on how he/she views reality and the environment. The interplay and correlation of these dynamics within the scope of personal development remains crucial because it strikes a balance in the way people relate with others and the different certainties and issues with regards to their life (Lullianarts, 2003).

Therefore, the connection of critical thinking and faith corresponds to the willingness and ability to harmonize an individual’s rational thoughts and emotions to come up with better experiences, encounters and opportunities to grow. (2) Analyzing Vogel’s hidden curriculum, it can be seen that the application of learning and adult religious education corresponds to utilizing connections and opportunities to facilitate opportunities to continuously acquire experiences.

The ability then for adults to appreciate and enhance their competency concerning their faith revolves not on what they perceive as better than the other. Rather, it is the proliferation of experiences that encounters that diversifies and opens up new inputs to better understand how fait is transcended to one believer to another (Vogel, 1999). Here, it tries to look into the manner that individuals use their abilities to better appreciate and understand that amidst the differences in principles and fundamental teachings, there are connections that can be gained from each one.

The idea then of hidden curriculum tries to administer perspectives that relates individual growth towards dialogue, interaction, and diversity of perspectives. Specifically, the aspect of dialogue opens up new parameters to gain appreciation that no other classroom or instructional materials can provide. It brings about a degree of connectedness that then shapes personal values and perspectives in relation to the appreciation of faith and religious beliefs (Vogel, 1999).

Thus, the value then of a hidden curriculum is measured by the ability of individuals and community to respond towards the increasing diversities of faith and applying them accordingly to the development of theirs. In essence, Vogel’s hidden curriculum seeks to showcase the authenticity of establishing deep relationships and associations with one’s personal faith. The value of these is then illustrated by engagement and a constant mindset to widen and diversify perspectives related to how people view the world, realities, and the people around them.

By then utilizing these experiences, greater means for learning and transcendence is obtained. (3) On the other hand, Vogel’s null curriculum corresponds to the inability of individuals to demonstrate the ability to continuously expand their ideas of faith. Here, they just remain stagnant in their ability to explore how their individual faith relates to themselves and others. Specifically, they just become stuck with conceptions on what they had learned either by instruction and fails to see the aspect of encounters, dialogues, and experiences as crucial in shaping and building adult faith (Vogel, 1999).

This in turn greatly impacts the ability of a person to create unfair biases and prejudices over faith because he/she does not have a clear view and appropriate insights of how faith is appreciated and understood by others. (4) My perspective of a null curriculum with regards to religious education would be limiting opportunities for adults to realize their faith in a continuous manner.

Since Vogel argued that the development of one’s perspective towards religious belief corresponds to a constant journey of encounters and experiences, limiting these opportunities to occur would create a constrained perspective of reality and the manner that individuals convey their beliefs towards others. The value of defining a curriculum is that it must continuously grow and mature through time. By limiting the opportunities available for an individual, it tends to define immaturities and create a curriculum defined mainly by parameters that are inadequate and incomplete.

(5) If I were to re-write Vogel’s book, I will tend to explore more towards providing examples of experiences of how people transcends in their adult faith and establish connections with learning. Though it can be argued that the book was able to do so, providing more cases diversifies the ability of individuals to relate further with the book and strike a point as to the impact and result when adults harmonize their cognitive and faith to create a better outlook of things.

Similarly, I would also like to discuss Vogel’s null curriculum a little bit further in the article. It may be essential to showcase readers of the realities that are happening today and demonstrate what limitations it creates in an adult’s ability to mature and grow. Lastly, I would also like to also address the increasing role of the community today. Though the book touches on this aspect, it is also crucial that individuals find their connections within themselves and the community to enrich their faith and understanding their relevance with one another.


Lullianarts (2003) Chapter 4: 36-48 The Relationship between faith and reason. Retrieved from http://lullianarts. net/faitxtout/doc/faithr1-9. htm Rusbult, C. (2001) Critical Thinking Skills in Adult Life. Retrieved from http://www. asa3. org/ASA/education/think/critical. htm Vogel, L. (1999) Chapter 10: Supporting Journeys of Learning Within and Across Communities of Faith. Teaching and Learning in Communities of Faith: Empowering Adults through Religious Education. (US: John Wiley & Sons). pp. 175-192