Seminarium Elements

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

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Interreligious Learning and Teaching

A Christian Rationale for a Transformative Praxis

by Kristin Johnston Largen with Mary E. Hess and Christy Lohr Sapp as contributors

There is still resistance in Christian institutions to interreligious dialogue. Many feel that such a practice weakens Christian faith, and promotes the idea that Christianity is merely one among many different religious options. When it comes to higher education, there is the fear that both college and seminary students will “lose their faith” if they are invited to study other religious traditions from a positive perspective.

Unfortunately, this attitude belies the current culture in which we live, which constantly exposes us to the beliefs and practices of others. Kristin Johnston Largen sees this setting as an opportunity and seeks to provide not only the theological grounding for such a position but also some practical advice on how both to teach and live out this conviction in a way that promotes greater understanding and respect for others and engenders a deeper appreciation of one’s own faith tradition.

Largen’s synopsis of interreligious education and suggested action includes contributions by Mary Hess and Christy Lohr Sapp. Hess and Sapp provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Largen’s proposed approach. As a group, Largen, Hess, and Sapp create a text that extends pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.

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Pedagogies for Student-Centered Learning

Online and On-Ground

by Cari Crumly with Pamela Dietz and Sarah d'Angelo as contributors

What comes to mind when you hear student-centered learning? Do you immediately see a classroom without a teacher? Do you see students teaching other students? How do you know which pedagogies to use when designing the best learning environment? The question of determining what pedagogies to use within the classroom (on-ground or virtual) can often plague teachers given today’s student.

This book will help you to identify the difference between teacher-centered and student-centered learning and the various pedagogies commonly associated with each. This book will draw upon the research and experience of three different educators and their pedagogical variations and uses within the classroom and online. Crumly’s synopsis of student-centered learning and suggested action is followed by a collaborative dialogue with Pamela Dietz and Sarah d’Angelo. Dietz and d’Angelo provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Crumly’s proposed approaches. As a group, Crumly, Dietz, and d’Angelo create a text that extends pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.

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Sticky Learning

Hwo Neuroscience Supports Teaching That's Remembered

by Holly J. Inglis with Kathy L. Dawson and Rodger Y. Nishioka as contributors

Despite the introduction of new technologies for classrooms, many seminary courses still utilize primarily auditory methods to convey content. Course outcomes may include opportunities for learners to demonstrate knowledge and skills gained but may not include opportunities for learners to begin to embed knowledge and skills into their long-term memory.

Educators are engaging with neuroscientists to reshape classroom practices, content delivery, curriculum design, and physical classroom spaces to enhance students’ learning and memory, primarily in elementary and secondary education. Why not in seminary education?>/p>

An overview of how learning occurs in our brain, what the different types of memory are, and how memory is created serves as a framework for suggesting pedagogical tools. These brain-friendly tools are specifically applied to individual academic disciplines, enabling instructors to make concrete modifications in the structure and content of what is taught, making learning more ‘sticky.’

Inglis’s synopsis of the use of neuroscience in the classroom and suggested action is followed by a collaborative dialogue with Kathy L. Dawson and Rodger Y. Nishioka. Dawson and Nishioka provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Inglis’s proposed approach. As a group, Inglis, Dawson, and Nishioka create a text that extends pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.

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Understanding Bible by Design

Create Courses with Purpose

by G. Brooke Lester with Jane S. Webster and Christopher M. Jones as contributors

Today’s seminary and religious-education instructors are expected to design and redesign their courses more nimbly than in the past. We have to adapt our courses to novel learning environments, for more diverse learners, toward more diverse vocations. At the same time, institutional rewards for time invested in course design are fewer than ever. Understanding Bible by Designintroduces the reader to UbD: an approach to course design that is proven time-efficient and grounded in the instructor's most closely-held convictions about her subject matter’s “big ideas and essential questions.” This book’s contributors (one in Old Testament, one in New Testament, and one in Jewish Studies) demonstrate the value of UbD for the Biblical Studies instructor, whether at seminary or university, face-to-face or online, from the intimate seminar to the massive MOOC.

Lester’s synopsis of course design and suggested action is followed by a collaborative dialogue with Jane S. Webster and Christopher M. Jones. Webster and Jones provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Lester’s proposed approaches. As a group, Lester, Webster, and Jones create a text that extend pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.

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