Posts Tagged ‘education’

Back to School

January 19, 2012

I had my first day, back in class as a student, yesterday.  It has been almost fifteen years since I graduated with my M.P.S.  I am taking a philosophy course as a non-degree graduate student.  The class will be studying the works of Descartes.

Everyone in the class is younger than me, including the instructor. There are fifteen students in the class.  Only one of them is female.  I don’t think that any of them have seen their thirtieth birthday, most of them are younger than twenty-five.  Not that age matters, but, it does affect the dynamics.

It appears that the class will be primarily discussion oriented.  We will read, and discuss, the works of Descartes.  Yes, there are exams and some papers to write, but primarily, read and discuss.

I think that I am going to enjoy this class.


Beyond Myself

January 12, 2012

I like to plan.

I like to budget.

This spring is going to be something new.

I don’t have a plan.  I not sure how it is going to work, but,  if all goes well.  I will be signing up for my first graduate philosophy class tomorrow.  I have no idea how I am going to find the time to attend class, and do the work, while still fulfilling my duties as pastor and college instructor.

Still, I believe it is time.  I have wanted to pursue a doctorate in philosophy for a long time.  I am not getting any younger, and there does not appear to be a better time coming on the horizon, and most important, I just have this feeling inside of me, that it is time to start.  This first class, I will be considered a non-degree graduate student, since I have not yet actually been accepted into the program.   That works for me.  I will test the waters before making a larger commitment.  I am trusting that the Holy Spirit is guiding me, and that God will help me complete the tasks before me.

I’m just not sure how it will work.

New Semester

January 13, 2010

It is the start of a new semester at the college.  There will be a new group of students starting classes that will run until springtime.  In the beginning there is excitement, with some apprehension, over what the new semester will bring to their lives.

As a teacher, they are the same classes that I have been teaching for years, but there is always something different.  Every class has its own personality.  Some are better than others.  Some are a joy to teach.  Some are more of a challenge, than a joy. 

Some things are certain.  Both the students, and I, will learn something through the time spent in the classroom. Both the students and I will have to do some work.  Sometimes hard work.  Sometimes inconvenient work.  Some students will not complete the semester.  Most will.  Some students will not be happy with their final grades.  Most will.  (I think.)  The time will pass.  May will come.  This semester will be over, and, after a break, we will begin again.

Isn’t it great?

The Value of Testing

February 24, 2009

Today I am writing a new test for the logic class that I teach.  I believe that testing serves at least two valid purposes.  The first is that knowing that there will be a test will cause most, (not all) students to put forth effort in preparing for the test.  By putting more time into study, the student will learn more than if they did not study.  So the first purpose is that it will increase the students knowledge. (At least, for those students who do study. )

Secondly, it provides a measurable means of determining how much has been learned, and what needs to be reinforced.  This is particularly valuable, when the knowledge or skills being learned are necessary for being able to perform certain tasks.  For example, I appreciate that both  written and driving tests are given to people seeking a drivers license.  I want them to know what “yield” means, (I have seen some drivers who I question their understanding of that word!} and I want them to be able to parallel park without rearranging the bumper of my car!!

So please know, students, that tests are not meant to simply make you miserable.  They do serve a valid purpose.

God also uses tests in our lives in a similar fashion.  As we learn more about God and his word there will arise “tests” that will challenge us to expand the limits of our learning.  There are also tests that will demonstrate how far we have come; or what we may need to repeat.