collaborative learning

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As a teacher, whenever I utter the words, “Okay class, please get into your small working groups,” I remember the sense of dread that I felt when I heard those words as a student. This semester I’m running an experiment in my Systematic Theology class.  It’s the first ...

We all know that our students’ social and religious contexts shape the way they understand the Bible – in theory, at least. But how do we bring that knowledge into the classroom? This question is particularly acute in a diverse theological seminary. With just over one hundred students, Lancaster Theological Seminary ...

As the saying goes, “sometimes the old ways are best.” (Eve Moneypenny and James Bond in Skyfall, 2012) Hevruta is a venerable pedagogy that places mutual student learning at the center of the classroom. In rabbinic tradition hevruta (“friend,” “companion”) denotes a pair who read and study sacred texts together.   I ...

I was sitting around the seminar table with eighteen students in a course on religion and popular culture. To get the discussion started, I asked them about the results of their web-based research on firsthand accounts of becoming a Star Trek fan. Numerous hands went up, research results were shared ...

Pedagogical Confession: I learn from lectures.  I’m one of those people for whom the traditional academy was made.  I listen to lectures on audiofiles (and I have since I was a teenager).  My larger classes in undergraduate and graduate school were large lectures with separate sections led by a ...

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