Today’s workshop (focussing upon Governance/leadership that impacted implicit curriculum) was divided in two halves… through two methodologies. The morning was all input, with a few tasks. The afternoon was mostly discussion (participation), with some input.

It was surprising how engaging the afternoon session was (despite afternoon sessions being traditionally weak), and how difficult to participate in input session in the morning (despite “alert” morning time).

And once again, it showed (for me) how for adult learning, input through lecture is the worst, or at least an ineffective way, to communicate.

It was also interesting to see our education facilitators make certain mistakes… which taught not just by good example, but also bad.

For instance, the professor who used the lecture input method… put a lot of content in his session and ran out of time to do the tasks effectively. We rushed through tasks… and also the theoretical discussions could have been done so differently.

Similarly in the input session, the facilitator kept using his own example as a positive example… which (unintentionally?) put him as the teacher-authority. Alternatively, he could have spent more time in tasks, getting discussion over what he wanted to talk about. I’m sure that would have resulted in better (contextual) answers… without drawing attention to the examples that could arise from the institution faculty/leaders. That (according to what we were taught last year) would have given us participants more ownership on the content.

In the afternoon session, again focussing on leadership patterns that would affect implicit curriculum… the session was almost entirely discussion oriented.  Exciting and engaging. Yet two mistakes (according to me) here. The first discussion was based on two biblical case studies. However, because the texts were slightly controversial (or the method of deriving principles from Acts being controversial), it was easy for our group to get distracted from the main point of the discussion. Relatedly, it was the sum-up (the relation between leadership and curriculum) was not made explicit. And could have been the central focus of the discussion. So, rather than focus on the biblical passage and the principles… think about our own instition and see how we could do things differently by “learning from” these biblical examples.

The second error was structural… in the sense that the facilitator, interacting with our table (that talked a lot), spent a lot of time talking to “us”… with his back turned against another group that was not talking much. That I think sent the wrong signal… and made me feel a little uncomfortable with our participation… and also perhaps feeling a little bad for the other group who may (or may not) have felt ignored. Perhaps in large groups… every comment should be brought to the group… rather than limit to the group that asked the question. That would have allowed the other participants to feel more involved.

I also reacted strongly against what was called “S1 model of leadership,” by Blanchard?). It was interesting… but the problems were highlighted when “directive leadership” was thought to be appropriate in certain cases. While I did relent (especially where directive leadership is helpful in cases of counselling in extreme cases). But I really felt that in cases of teaching… no student (especially adult) is in need for directive teaching. But some seminaries actually felt that for the BTh level it was necessary. Which I really felt sad to hear. Do we not respect our students to participate in their learning… help them think for themselves… guide them (ie. more participatory) rather than telling them to learn something in a particular manner or else. This over-directive method of learning is a problem of education in India… and sadly we tend to justify it. I hope I can continue to fight against this malice… in myself… as well as in the systems that think it is appropriate.

Anyway… that’s my view for today. I really want to focus on education… so let’s see what’s in store tomorrow.