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Anzats 2011

Anzats 2011






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    Anzats 2011 Anzats 2011 Presentation Transcript

    • Behind the Project
      • Uncovering Theology 2008
        • more mature experienced students
        • transformative experience in theological education
      • Aim
        • to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the undergraduate theological education curriculum in providing an increasingly diverse population of theological students with a transformative education
    • Scope
      • All theological HEPs in Australia
        • Universities
          • ACU, CSU, Flinders, Murdoch, Newcastle, Notre Dame
        • Consortia
          • ACD, ACT, MCD, SCD
        • Stand-alone HEPs
          • Alphacrucis, Avondale, CHC, Harvest, Harvest West, Tabor Adelaide, Tabor Victoria, Moore, PBC, Wesley
        • 50 teaching campuses
    • Research Methods
        • Literature survey on transformative learning, with particular reference to theological programs
        • Historical and Current Curriculum Document Analysis
        • Student Surveys, Focus Groups, Interviews
        • Faculty Interviews
        • Church Leaders, Employers, Graduate Interviews
        • Workshop
    • Findings to Date
      • Curriculum Development
        • historical
        • current
      • Student Profile
        • at entry
        • initial expectations
        • transformative experiences
        • life experience
        • most valued subject areas
      • Learning and Teaching
        • institutional focus
        • content, skills, methods
    • Curriculum Development 1973-2010
      • High degree of uniformity in course design and content
        • biblical studies + systematic theology + limited church history
        • + philosophy in Catholic tradition
      • 1990s-2010
        • inclusion of ministry skills, especially in BMin programs
          • more in Bible colleges than in mainstream denominational systems
          • mainly class-room teaching with some field placement or practical project work
        • increase in Supervised Field Education
          • still relatively minor electives
          • limited pedagogical rigour
      • No clear evidence of intentional or strategic connection with a student’s prior life experience
      • No clear evidence of intentional transformative learning
    • Student Profile: at entry
      • Age
        • Very few under 20 (6%)
        • Most between 20-40 (64%)
      • Prior Education
        • 45.5% have prior bachelor or post-graduate degree
        • 27% have post-secondary certificate/diploma
      • Assumptive Tensions
        • all are blank sheets with no prior knowledge or study skills
        • all are at same stage of readiness for theological study  
    • Students’ Initial Expectations
      • Most common aspiration
        • acquisition of deeper theological/biblical knowledge accompanied by personal spiritual development
      • Other
        • acquisition of practical ministry skills
          • but not outcome of paid vocational employment
        • interpersonal relations & cultural issues are not as important as knowledge and personal development 
      • In terms of goals , cognitive learning & skills development are more significant than personal transformation
        • attractiveness of “transformation” may not be as strong as suggested by the colleges’ promotional material
    • Students’ Transformative Experiences
      • Personal transformation has been a common outcome of theological study
        • reaching full potential rather than radical change
      • Intense personal challenge involved in critical study of sacred texts and doctrines
        • with resultant strengthening of levels of faith and tolerance
        • but also lack of spiritual support for such intense struggle
      • Expansion of intellectual horizons and critical thinking
        • broadening of tolerance towards other theological & ecclesial positions
      • Greater degree of simultaneous humility and confidence in terms of personal identity and role 
    • Emergent challenges
        • Should such transformative development be
          • allowed (by happenstance)
          • fostered (by encouragement)
          • or strategized (by planning)?
        • (How) should schools support such personal struggles?
    • Students’ Life Experience
      • Little evidence of any intentional connection between theological study and prior life experience
        • only occasional and incidental intersection
      • More intentional (though not necessarily strategic) linkage with current experience
        • esp in areas of ministry
        • esp associated with field placements, integrated with or parallel to the degree program
      • Experiential application happened more via the community of theological education than by the content of the curriculum
        • lecturers and student cohort very significant agents
    • Emergent challenges
        • (How) can prior life experience be used as an enrichment springboard for theological studies?
        • (How) can integration of contemporary life situations be expanded beyond the currently dominant preparation for professional ministry?
        • (How) can the role of the theological community be used more strategically in such integration?
    • Emergent themes
      • Cognitive aspirations
      • (trans)formative experiences
      • Pivotal role of lecturer and theological community in transformative experiences
      • Need of pastoral support throughout transformative experiences
      • Issues of modern pedagogy
    • Learning and Teaching Institutional Focus
      • Need to define the primary raison d’être of your institution
      • In terms of student development, which area is the most important focus in your school?
          • Biblical/theological knowledge
          • Practical ministry skills
          • Personal growth
    • Balance in Curriculum
        • Content
          • Historical truth
          • Contemporary world
        • Skills
          • Professional performance
          • Personal applications and engagements
        • Methods
          • Scope for creativity
          • Modern pedagogy
    • Problem Solving Appreciative Inquiry “ Felt Need” Identification of a Problem Analysis of Causes Analysis of Possible Solutions Action Plan (Treatment) Appreciating Valuing the Best of “What Is” or “Where I have come from” Envisioning “What Might Be” Or “What I might become” Dialoguing “What Should Be” or “What I should become” Innovating “What Will Be” Or “What I will become” Basic Assumption: Person Has/Organization Is a problem to be solved Basic Assumption: Person is a Continuing Work in Process With Past/Existing Successes that can be built on
    • Still to come
      • Stakeholder Interviews September-October
        • 2 Faculty; Academic Board Chair/Dean of School; Church Leaders/Employers; Graduate
      • Workshop
        • April 2012; Dissemination of Findings; Articulation of Best Practices
          • Or Good Practices in Various Contexts
      • Communications
        • Brochure; Newsletter
        • Website; Blog
        • Final Publication late 2012