Should content lead to activity or should activity lead to content?
We have decided to make this curriculum activity focused. This does not mean that we are simply listing activities and hoping to have the student engage in them but that we plan for the students to be engaged in pastoral activities while they are studying in each of the classes in the course of study. The list of activities we compiled for a pastor gave us the outcomes for each class. These outcomes must be reflected in the classroom environment.
Most typical courses in a course of study have a research/content focus. The student is graded on their research capacity, that is their ability to organize and analyze various books and lectures into a coherent and unique set of written papers. Very little of the classroom time is spent actually practicing the types of activities that a normal pastor engages in on a daily basis. The focus is the educational or academic content and the teacher and or curriculum designers hope that the student will apply these contents to pastoral activities.
Our curriculum wants to reverse this focus by engaging the student in pastoral activities while in the classroom and using those activities as bridge points or opportunities to discuss content. So that a theology of preaching is discussed as the student often preaches. At the same time communication theory is taught while evaluating the students sermon. Sociology and learner focus pedigodgy are discussed while the student is developing lesson plans.
Every single class in the course of study should engage the student in four areas. The student personally growing in skill, character and understanding, with other students in the class in team work and spiritual development, with a worshiping community outside the class, with the broader community around that worshiping community or around the educational institution.
This means that major projects are typically outside the classroom environment and done in teams.