The student demonstrates appreciation for the many dimensions of ongoing public-square and global conversations related to social, cultural, religious, biblical, and theological concerns, and develops a biblical Christian perspective that results in knowledgeable, compassionate dialogue with appropriate evangelistic engagement.
For my competences in cultural engagement, I am submitting pictures of my time in the Lay Institute along with documents created for class which demonstrate my ministry to people with diverse backgrounds. At the Lay Institute, men and women from all over the Dallas-Fortworth area pay for courses taught by students. My class was an eight-week expositional study through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I had students from all kinds of backgrounds; different Christian backgrounds, different learning styles, different ages, ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic statuses, and even students who had just emigrated from Africa and the United Kingdom.
As I developed and demonstrated cultural engagement, I have learned several details about teaching ministry. First, group interaction and interaction between me and the students is really special. Students come from so many different backgrounds and when they get to share their unique voice in conversations it enables everyone to learn; this is evidenced by the group work time in the second and third picture). Second, the teacher should allow plenty of time for questions. I would usually start the class by giving the students a chance to ask anything from the previous weeks. Third, closely related to this is the attitude I, as a teacher, should display when students ask questions. I should be interested and respond positively. There were a few times when I was trying to cover way too much and students were speaking and asking questions and I gave terminal responses instead of encouraging the dialogue. Fourth, I learned that cultural engagement requires transparency. If I am trying to change something about your worldview, I ought to reveal my own. If I want you to ultimately embrace Jesus Christ, then I have to expose for people all the ways I do not yet embrace Christ personally. Fifth, what I handout should be helpful for my students. In other words, if my students want all my notes I should give them. The PowerPoints should be understandable, etc. This is demonstrated by all the uploaded documents.
As a result of the experiences documented by these artifacts, I will continue to develop in cultural engagement by: (1) seeking to speak before mixed audiences of believers and unbelievers; (2) developing more honesty and transparency in my self-presentation before my audiences; (3) trying to create more and more opportunities for students to share their unique experiences that have shaped their relationship with God; and (4) spending more time with students before class time and as much as possible getting to know my students outside of the classroom. This last point is especially important since I will be teaching Special Education students in South Carolina. The south is a completely new world for this northerner. And Special Education students require so much personal interaction to properly set their learning goals.
Description: Here’s a picture (below) of my class on the last day. Don’t they look happy? This picture demonstrates that I had a diverse audience every single week.
Description: About midpoint through the class, I realized I needed to change up the format. I split up the class into four groups each with a question. This method probably yielded the best results of any other–students loved talking with each other and then reporting on their answers. These pictures (below) show one of the best methods of cultural engagement, dialogue.
Description: For those students who were more visual, I created a PowerPoint for each week. I tried to anticipate the different learning styles. At times just using my voice, video clips, etc. If the Scribd document is displaying improperly, please use this link to a Dropbox document.
The Everything Document
Description: This is the totality of my notes from the Philippians class. Everyone in the class was older than me and were individuals who would enjoy doing further reading on their own. I always baited them by saying I would eventually provide for them all my notes so that they didn’t have to be afraid about missing details. And by knowing that I would eventually give my students this document, it freed me to focus on the more important points.If the Scribd document is displaying improperly, please use this link to a Dropbox document.
Last Handout for Notes
Description: I learned on the first day that no student would be bringing a laptop. So, I had to learn very quickly how to reach this demographic in my classroom. I designed these notes which put the text before them each and every week and gave them considerable space to make notes.
Last Homework Assignment
Description: It is easy to be distracted by many things as a teacher. Each homework assignment was designed to focus the student’s mind on what I felt was most important. And I think this is helpful when it comes to cultural engagement, to keep central things central without unnecessary detours.
Interactive Course Notes
Description: After the course concluded I taught an audiovisual presentation class at DTS. I discovered some more creative ways to present data to a class for their private use or classroom use–namely, an iBook. It is pretty awesome! There is purposefully no sound on the video.