Charismata and curricula

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by UZThD, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. UZThD

    UZThD
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    ""For one is GIVEN by the Spirit.... ( 1 Cor 12)

    How do the gifts of the Spirit, purposed to edify the Church ((14:12), relate to higher Christian education?

    EG:

    Does the Spirit through seminary training give gifts?

    Does seminary training reveal gifts?

    Does seminary training enhance gifts?

    Does a gifted one even need seminary?

    Do gifts make seminary work easier or harder?

    Do we assume seminary profs have the gift of teaching?
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    UZThD as Rhetorician?

    Hey Bill,

    I thought I was the rhetorician? HA!:laugh:

    I have never heard such a conglomeration of "loaded questions." Or, are they "rhetorical questions?"

    Either way (or another way in which I have not realized), you are a man after my own heart!!!

    Thanks for keeping us thinking!!!:thumbs:

    sdg!

    rd
     
  3. UZThD

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    thanks Rhet

    Teachers in some school districts are required to be aware of the differences in learning styles, learning achievements, and deficits existing in their students.

    Students individually vary in their learning achievement in a class depending on which student modality the student best learns through and whether the teacher addresses this modality and uses the method best suited to it or , rather, goes through every lesson totally oblivious to the students' conditions.

    Some students learn best aurally and some by reading while others really prosper when a prof's teaching style is a sharing of ideas in discussion and not just one way communication.

    The learning of some students is well-measured by objective exams and others would be better tested by research papers.

    Some students are gifted and some learning disabled. Teachers in some public schools are aware of the individuality of students . And schools or teachers design a curriculum which is adaptable to such variances.

    From all of this just elicit that in public schools, student inividuality may affect curricula and teaching strategies.

    Now, apply that observation about public schools to seminary curricula, particularly in view of the doctrine of spiritual gifts. EG,

    Should the giftedness of seminarians be assessed as part of the enrollment process?

    Should all seminarians take the same coursework?

    Should all seminarians be expected to learn in the same way?

    Should all seminarians have the same learning outcomes for a course?

    Should professors be required to be aware of student giftedness, or the lack of it, and address this in instruction? EG, IF a student's gift is teaching, why not let him or her do a bit of that in a course?

    Do profs have no obligation to fit teaching to students, even individually, but only have the obligation to be knowledgeable of a content?

    If the one much gifted goes unchallenged and on e but slightly gifted ends up overwhelmed, how is this good teaching?

    Should professors just be measured by their understanding of WHAT is to be taught and not also by WHO is to be taught?

    Do we teach content or do we teach students?


    Or, should there be no relationship between charismata and curriculum in seminaries... ?:saint:

    As an aside, should students be a training ground for professors to learn how to teach?


    Bill,

    (a special education public school teacher 1969-2004)
     
    #3 UZThD, Aug 19, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2006
  4. gb93433

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    A the age goes up there is a difference in teaching styles and expectations. High school students are given a lot of attention. Whereas college students are expected to do a lot on their own and ask for help if they need it. That is the way life is to. In life nobody is there to hold your hand like your mom or dad. It is up to the person to be humble enough to ask for help. If the person is humble enough to ask for help it is abundant. I had a student of the past two years who worked hard and tried to do well. I told him I would meet with him everyday if he needed it. Eventually he learned the material and did well. But there were others who were lazy and did not care.

    Remember that only about 18% of the population have graduated from college. Having taught high school and now college I know that college students learn at a much faster rate and are expected to do a lot more work on their own.

    Seminaries are graduate schools not high schools. The students should be expected to come with a certain amount of preparation. It is not fair to other students if the class is taught at a level which deals only with students who are unprepared. That is not the fault of the university but the high school or other institution. I see students who are very well prepared and others who you wonder how they got past the sixth or eighth grade.
     
  5. El_Guero

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    Yes, sometimes, should, good question, hard to guage, assuming that professors can teach is like assuming a used car salesman doesn't work on commission . . .

    ;)

     
  6. Nord

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    Ahhh but the real question is how the stigmata (rather than Charismata) relates to curricula.

    I do believe some profs have the gift of teaching and others do not. Yes, seminary training enhances gifts. Did in my case.

    On a side note, I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have had to learn. I have accredited degrees up to the doctoral level and have loved the chance to learn and the doors it opened to serve God. I encourage everyone who is debating education to weigh costs, programs, etc but do it. It is something that no one can take away from you and that enhances your ability to serve our Lord. I almost feel there is so much to explore and so little time.

    Thank you Christ for all that you have enabled me to do and for doors you have opened....may I never take it for granted or give you less than my best!
    Nord
     
  7. paidagogos

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    Definition, please

    Well, I suppose that it is poor form to answer a question with a question, but what do you mean by gifts? For one, I do not necessarily equate gifts of the Spirit with human abilities. Are gifts and abilities synonymous? How so? Can we call things such as intelligence, educational background, learning styles, academic skills, etc. gifts in the Biblical sense?
     
  8. UZThD

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    ==

    Human abilities seem not exactly spiritual gifts, but can they not be related?

    If profs have the gift of teaching, would they have it without their education? Would they have that education without their human abilities? Is their gift strenthened by their learning?
     
  9. UZThD

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    #9 UZThD, Aug 20, 2006
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  10. mcdirector

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    I had to quote you Bill to remember the questions!

    I do believe that seminary training may reveal and/or enhance gifts. Question one is mmmm questionable IMHO. Since I believe we are all gifted, then seminary work is still needed regardless of whether the work comes hard or easy.

    And no, I don't assume anyone has the gift of teaching until I've seen them in action. I believe I have the gift of teaching, but I've worked with teachers who were much better than adequate who didn't have the gift of teaching but still felt called to the classroom for one reason or the other.
     
  11. mcdirector

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    I do think it would be a great idea for seminary students to be assessed of their spritual gifts, but I don't know that profs should be aware of that. I don't think the correlation to public ed is necessary. Actually, I think too much attention has been given to personal differences at lower levels. Certainly by seminary, students should be able to fit the mold and then use their knowledge/skills in ways meaningful to their ministry.

    Now, having said that, I do think that choice to some extent is nice. If one student can write a paper and another do a project, I don't have a problem with that as long as appropriate learning occurred.

    On the point of having the student do the teaching if he/she has that gift -- in how many courses would that occur? what if you have a class loaded with teachers? What if the student is barely keeping up and this additional duty is required?

    It is a fine line between teaching the content and the student. At my level too much of either one is damaging, but I teach secondary mainly. I do find that in my work with teachers, they don't really care what they learn. They 1) want it to be easy and accessible, and 2) they want credit for continuing education.
     
  12. Jack Matthews

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    Yes, I believe that is quite likely, especially for students who are genuinely seeking to discover theirs.

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    I would hope it would make it easier, and help put it in perspective.

    Most of those I've encountered definitely had it. I don't think it should be assumed, though.
     
  13. El_Guero

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    IMHO. The spiritual gift of teaching would include being able to teach the above average student and the below average student. Or, do we believe that God only calls the intelligent? I do not know of very many below average students that are allowed to continue their seminary education - they flunk out.

    I would expect gifted teachers to be actively involved in helping their students learn. I have personally helped (tutored) more of my fellow students than all of the professors that I know.

    Now as professors, I think all but maybe one, of my professors were gifted as 'professors'. But, I do not think that 'professorial' skill is the same as teaching. There is a difference between lecturing and teaching.

    Based upon the reality of the student population (and personal experience) a few, IMHO, seminary prof's have the 'gift of teaching'. There are many great 'professors'.

    Having taught one week intensives - and competed with the best in the business - I doubt that more than a third of my professors would compete well as 'professional teachers'. I do not make this assumption lightly. I have spent more than 40 hours personally talking with my professors trying to help them become better teachers - and without an exception, none of them wanted to become better teachers. But, they did want to become better professors. And I do not make the assumption that one has to be a professional teacher in order to teach well - but, I know that I routinely saw professors shoot down students' questions because they were afraid of addressing the subject raised by a student. My experience taught me quickly that an instructor feels like shooting down a student when the question is outside of one's (my) experience. Great teachers, like great leaders, are suprised less often and can handle surprise better than average.
     
    #13 El_Guero, Aug 21, 2006
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  14. UZThD

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    It's not impossible that I am letting my long background in special education to influence my thinking on this matter too much. But just yesterday I had a conversation with one of our MDiv students who has a JD and is successful lawyer.

    I was probing him to respond to questions about the efficiency of some classes he's taken with us. He confessed that while he had no doubt of the knowledge of all of our profs, he did have difficulty following the teaching of some.

    So, I remain, for now, somewhat convinced that it is the obligation of a professor not just to know his/her subject but to be able to employ various strategies to communicate that knowledge, and assess the reception of it, to students who differ among themselves in their ability to receive that teaching.

    It might not be a bad idea for some PhDs to include education courses in their learning and to experience a bit of teaching junior high students.

    Bill
     
    #14 UZThD, Aug 25, 2006
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  15. Paul33

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    Perhaps a simple first step would be for some professors to define their terms the first time they use them.

    I had one professor (very well known author at TEDS) who was either prideful, arrogant, or just clueless. He would use technical terms without defining them. Needless to say, I dropped the course after a few classes.

    Just today, I listend to Sproul (giving a lecture on the radio) teach about Socrates and sophistry. He defined every term the first time he used them! What an incredible professor. I understood what he was teaching.

    What good is showing off one's intelligence if the students can't follow?
     
    #15 Paul33, Aug 25, 2006
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  16. Jack Matthews

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    Great idea. I think EVERYONE should have to teach one year of junior high if they want to teach anywhere.

    I had a JD when I went to the divinity school at the same university. The quality of education in the theology school was very high, comparably as good as that in the law school, but that would be expected anywhere in this particular school. Generally, I would have to say that every theology professor I encountered was spiritually gifted to teach, in the Biblical sense of the term "spiritually gifted."
     
  17. gb93433

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    That depends on the subjectivity of the subject matter.
     
  18. mcdirector

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    There are courses of study that allow for differentiation even within the course. The choice of different research topics alone allows for that.

    I do think that some professors need to take some courses on teaching, since I've always been a teacher and don't have a PhD yet, at what point does a person decide to teach rather than do research? Could there be multiple tracks?
     
  19. El_Guero

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    Bitsy

    I think that I get what you are saying. I want to be certain.

    Doesn't every course require research? Isn't the real difference between a PhD and a DMin for example the depth and length of the research? Kind of like the differentiation that you mentioned above - different research topics?

    Just curious.
     
  20. mcdirector

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    Well, maybe I was just tired when I wrote that -- It's happened a lot (way too often) since school started. :D

    I wasn't referring to while a person was in the program but rather after, and probably should have said "at what point of the program does one decide to teach or do something else for a career." Or is teaching thrust upon some at the end of the course of study and not others?

    Some PhDs do research for a living and don't teach. Some teach and don't do real research -- they research for articles perhaps or their classes. I'm thinking that's where I was making that distinction -- but it doesn't fit really for seminary.
     

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