How should we use a student’s time?

In research?

When students come to an academic setting, especially in the humanities, they are given a list of reading, a list of papers due, tests, and their time in the class room is mainly in note taking, or in discussion.   Time outside class is mainly spent in the library, looking for resources that will apply to the papers that need to be written.   Sometimes a professor will give a list of library books, but mainly students are expected to develop their own sources, spending hours looking for materials, books, and articles on which to base their opinions.

These activities  center or focus on RESEARCH capacity as the primary outcome.   The ability to find and use written resources with proper documentation.  The ability to compare, contrast, and analyze various concepts.  The majority of the literature used are secondary scholarly resources.  At times students will even deal with primary resources.

In guided activities?

Our curriculum proposes to re-focus this research emphasis for the Course of Study for ordination.    Each of the modules should be self-contained so that the student is presented with all the materials necessary for a class within the module.

This will mean that the student will be able to spend less time in research activities and more time team work, projects, role play, artistic creation, community engagement around the content presented.   The students will have time to interact with the content using a wide range of activities that reflect more closely the weekly or monthly activities of a pastor.

Time spent in the classroom will be interactive, with other students in teams, creating sermons, lesson plans, teaching, reporting, role playing, and debating the merits of various positions.   The teachers role moves away from lecture and written evaluation to coaching, demonstration, coordinating, personal evaluation, with some lecture.

The idea is that the time spent outside the classroom will be mainly absorbing the materials in the modules, rather than researching materials in a library.   The remaining time will be spent in community projects, and in local church projects that implement the concepts being mastered in the classroom.

Library materials should be available in electronic format so that every student will have a similar library.  This also means that we will need to produce materials that are as free of copyright restrictions as possible.  We should use public domain references as much as possible, and writers will be expected to use an open copyright such as the Creative Commons 4.0 license.  Materials will be translated into many languages from English as the primary base language.