This is the story of how one continental religious community, the Unitarians, broke out of the lockstep of traditional, doctrine-centered pedagogy and invented a new approach to religious education based on the needs and interests of children. Affirming the humanity of Jesus, the religious validity of non-biblical experience, and the principle of growth as both the means and end of education, the Unitarians created a curriculum that children loved, parents welcomes, and was adopted by numerous Protestant, Jewish, and humanist families and congregations.
Praise for The Children Were My Teachers:
"This book is an invaluable resource for every UU minister and religious educator. It surpasses anything else available in its historical depth and scope. Inspiring, informative, insightful, and rich, Parke's work gives us what we need to create a viable future for liberal religious education that does justice to our extraordinary heritage'"
—Rebecca Parker, President and Professor of Theology, Starr King School of Ministry, author, Blessing the World
"David B. Parke's book on the history of the New Beacon Series in religious Education effectively traces the philosophical breakthroughs that still help shape our educational theory and practice. He is especially helpful in citing the contributions of people too soon forgotten in the 21st century: Angus H. MacLean, Ernest W. Kuebler, and of course Sophia Lyon Fahs. While the objective details are important, even more crucial is Parke's capacity to capture the pioneering spirit of those who have given so much to the liberal religious movement. This is a must read for those who take Unitarian Universalist religious education seriously."
—Richard S. Gilbert, Minister Emeritus, First Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York, author, Building Your Own Theology Series