Currently the review of the day’s learning is happening. According to the facilitators, the following plan was implemented. I’m taking their structure and making some notes below each point.

WHAT DID WE COVER TODAY (14/May, Monday)

1. What has changed – REVIEW

The facilitators had begun the day with the question, “What of last year was helpful/meaningful for your teaching/institution?” I felt the session was a little rushed. Beginning with the question presupposed that we even remembered what we did last years. It would have been good to have some kind of review statement… what was taught… and then see if we (participants) remembered… what struck us, and what we tried / failed in etc.

2. Expectations – NEEDS

The facilitators had then asked what our “expectations” were. I personally don’t like these kinds of questions, because the participants are so keen to please (not offend) the teacher that oftentimes true feelings are hidden/suppressed, or even participants tend to over-state high expectations.  Personally, I begin with the view that students may not be keen to learn, and so don’t ask questions that force students to be positive.  Another idea of “hook” (from Perry Shaw), is perhaps more helpful for the beginning of classes lectures. (hook being, grabbing students/participants attention).

3. Joseph Story – SENSITIZE

The Joseph story was a case study given about a student who had a good experience in bible college, but bad experience in “ministry” and then went back to bible college. We were supposed to draw attention to failure of seminaries in training students for ministry (which is largely true) but I find case studies disturbing. Their manipulative nature… especially in trying to get predetermined answers… that help the facilitators, is distracting. But I liked the rationale the facilitators gave… to get the discussion closer to home… get people aware about the implicit curriculum in a non-direct way. I think in that sense, the story was successful.

4. Biblical Qualities – INPUT

According to Jane Vella, “Input” is an important part, but only a part, of the whole teaching-learning tasks. And usually, input means lectures. The facilitators tried to have “input” (theory of biblical qualities that shape leadership) in a non-boring non-lecture way, however I felt that the discussion under-sold the participants… because most of the participants, I’m sure had already done some/most of that kind of thinking.

5. M.V.V. case studies – INDUCTIVE

M = Mission, V = Vision, and V= Values. There was a discussion about what is a mission statement, what is a vision statement and what are values. I found the distinctions very gray… and the priority of one (like mission over vision) over another, problematic. At least the facilitator admitted that these were just words and could work either way (in terms of priority). However the clarity that mission statement should be repeatable by the whole institution was a helpful reminder of its importance and relevance.

6. M.V.V. lecture – INPUT

Honestly, the input sessions could have been better… more engaging. I really don’t like learning by negative example… and more and more it feels that “input” sessions on the whole are not as successful as they are made out to be. A truly “ouch” moment for any teacher (including me).

7. GATE Values – IMPLEMENTATION

We were asked to identify what the GATE values were… I felt it was a little “narcissistic” at first… especially since we would be forced to answer only positively. Still… it was helpful to identify someone elses values before applying that to ourselves. I don’t quite understand how this was “implementation”, but maybe after reading Vella again it will become clearer.

8. Your values and Mission – INTERPRETATION

This activity was most helpful… where we looked at SAIACS stated values… and its “actual” (what is visible) values. It was a wake up call (again) to the need to be aware of our implicit curriculum. Do we really do what we say we do.

On the whole, I liked the ending of the session… it was engaging and relevant. The other sessions made me wish that there was a more direct focus on education and teaching.

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