Thursday, March 23, 2006

Learning and teaching

I never thought I'd find contextual Bible study as interesting as I have been these past weeks. I'm not sure that it doesn't tell us as much about each other as about the text under consideration - but it's a good way of making me think about passages of the gospel I had long regarded as familiar. When we begin to identify with this or that character it opens up a whole new landscape - though occasionally we go for such a ramble over this landscape that the surroundings become unrecognisable! It helps, of course, to have thoughtful and imaginative companions on this journey; it would be altogether a different matter with literal fundamentalists or even someone who simply didn't follow the path taken.

There. Does that last sentence smack of an intolerable arrogance? Maybe that's there - but I could never bear the kind of vague speculation that had no anchor in firm knowledge, and I'm very fortunate in that we rarely meet without someone there who actually knows the scholarly background to the passage. I suppose it's the recognition of my own hang-ups in this area that makes me cautious about this lay preaching lark. Not a lark, in fact. More of an eagle - or maybe an albatross.

Back in the world I have some expertise in, I will be teaching two new students tomorrow. The teaching of Writing - the sort which gets you a good grade in Standard Grade English - is quite a thought too, actually. It's one thing correcting grammatical errors and making suggestions about the effective use of tenses; quite another to start afresh on shaping style and stimulating the imaginations of people whose reading stopped when the homework became burdensome. And I've only a few weeks before they have to be able to write with flair and confidence under exam conditions - a ridiculous idea, when you think of it.

Now, I wonder if they'd like to start a wee blog?


  1. That is a fabby idea. Tell them to write a wee story every day and allow people to comment on it. That would be really interesting, actually! It would be great to see someone's creative process develop and, of course, it will be so good for them!

  2. Yes. Yes, yes, yes! Very interesting idea. If they go for it, let us know where to find them.

    I was told by a teacher that I should write something every day and it didn't really matter what as long as I got into the habit of writing. Of course, I didn't follow her advice at the time, but maybe if there had been blogs then...