Week Three

12 November 2012 / Didache: Part Two

This week we’re going to be moving into more explicit learning about educational theories that are useful when working in religious education and faith nurture contexts. Our primary example will involve thinking through how you might work to design learning around baptism. Baptism is a rite that many people believe is important, but are not always able to explain why. It is a rite that has powerful symbolism associated with it, deep theological elements, and multiple biblical stories. How can we invite people to understand baptism more thoroughly, and to claim it in their own lives?

Before you watch my video, pull up (or download) these three handouts from the resource page:

Palmer’s paradoxes of learning design

Palmer’s grace of great things

Vella’s 12 principles for learning


My video reflection

Individual work

Read Nurturing Faith, available on e-reserve at MyLutherNet (this handout is particularly useful because you can copy pieces of it as a handout in various settings).

Continue reading the book you’ve chosen as your foundation text, paying close attention to the author’s definition of religious education and faith nurture, and thinking about how you might embody this author’s ideas in specific learning designs.

By Friday at midnight, participate in the large group discussion.

Group work

In your small group I’d like you to return to the four scenarios that John Roberto develops, and think about how you might teach baptism to people in each of those scenarios. What are the pressing questions a person in that scenario might bring to a discussion of baptism? What anxieties or other painful feelings might they have that you will need to be aware of? What resources could you offer to them in that discussion? Make sure that you look over Vella’s principles, and think about how you would approach designing learning that would engage people in each of the four scenarios.

One way to make this task a little easier is for different people in your small group to research and work with just one of the scenarios, and then you can pool your ideas.

By Wednesday at midnight please post to the large group discussion a summary of your insights from this task, and at least one compelling question that remains for you.