Introducing a new pedagogy for early childhood education and brain training

신태섭 기자l승인2019.03.19

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▲ President Lee Jung-gyu

It is not much to say that education decides the future of a nation. Many methods have been introduced and tried. Whether it worked or not, it is always good to keep trying. The Jesus’ Garden Education Foundation, in this respect, also takes part with its unique educational concept which combined general education with the Christianity. Lee Jung-gyu, the president of the foundation, is especially famous for his development of brain training called ‘B.Tree’.

Children learn and grow in Jesus’ garden

The concept of the Jesus’ Garden Education Foundation is for children to learn and grow in Jesus’ garden. Lee is a Ph.D holder who wrote a paper on religious education of Montessori. Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori is the first Italian woman doctor of medicine and also doctor of education who is best known for her globally recognized pedagogy called Montessori. As an ardent Christian, Montessori delved into religious education of children in her late years and it was deepened by Sofia Cayalletti after Montessori died. 

The educational method of Montessori suggests systematic pedagogy customized to each level of a child’s development based on the teachings of the Bible. The method of Montessori was passed down to Sofia Cavaletti and then to her pupil father Jerome W. Berryman who has carried on his research and its application on ‘Godly Play’ where children take initiative in self-directed learning to think and experience the words of God. 

Lee completed all of these courses in the US and started to spread new educational paradigm based on the pedagogy of Montessori and the educational missionary. He introduced catechism based on Westminster Shorter Catechism, experience-based ‘Artrium’, and spiritual experience-driven artistic expression ‘Spiritual Art Material’ in order to promote children’s spiritual expression and independence. Thanks to theses excellent programs, the Jesus’ Garden Education Foundation is not only recognized in Korea but in the world.

Spreading globally

The Jesus’ Garden Education Foundation opened a branch in California, US, 3 years ago on obtainment of business license from the State of California. Taking the momentum, the Foundation pushed forward the expansion to Myanmar and the Philippines and currently is running international Montessori teacher’s course. It is notable that Lee is the one who first published Montessori teaching materials in Burmese. 

“It is regretful to say that early childhood education is hardly found in any university majors in Myanmar. In other words, the country needs it more than anywhere else and we take it as our job to bring it forth” said Lee. 

Apart from spreading the pedagogy, the Jesus’ Garden Education Foundation has been actively engaging in alternative school, scholarship and lifelong education projects. Also, Lee has been serving as a board member of the World Early Childhood Education Missionary on which he trains teachers in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. 

B.Tree 

Among many of Lee’s brainchild, B.Tree probably is the most credited of all. As an innovative brain training method built on neuroscience and the educational principle and images of tree, B.Tree promotes the ability of our brain to a maximum level.

“Christians are emotionally and spiritually filled with the God’s love and benignity. This stimulates our body and the brain in particular to activate hormones which eventually keep our brain in optimum status. Adding concentration and forebrain speed-reading to this maximizes the image power of our brain which goes through the ‘brain map’ and ‘image map’, the core elements of B.Tree, to connect knowledge and information, thus promoting creative brain” explains Lee.

Prospective educational programs
B.Tree is consisted of God’s words and prayer, concentration, forebrain speed-reading, brain map and brain food. The contents serve each different level of children but with the same purposes: to make them experience ‘consciousness of God’s presence’ and ‘brain development’. 

“The grace of God is made by God who removes our sins and punishments but bears us fruits through Holy Spirit. And the touch and the joy of Holy Spirit activate our brain through deliverance of hormones and neurotransmitter and vitalize our body. And the brain map connects knowledge and information to train our brain to create new knowledge.”

The Jesus’ Garden Education Foundation is holding a B.Tree briefing session on 30 March at the Korean Church Centennial Memorial Building. More details on the session are found at Brain-Tree.net. As follow-ups, a seminar on Christianity alternative school is scheduled to be held in April alongside prospective silver Montessori education and lifelong learning courses in near future.


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