(Teaching Theology and Religion )
This paper explores the way students learn theology through a small qualitative
research project. It is undertaken in conversation with current higher education
learning theory. This learning theory suggests that it is important to discover how a
student conceptualizes learning and how they perceive the teaching environment. Students interviewed increasingly spoke of the value of this academic or more cognitive side of learning as they learned “deep approaches.” Important in this movement to deep, transformational learning was the presence of a relational teaching environment in which peers and teachers played a crucial role. This present study offers support to the view that the tradition of the learning community remains important for deploying deep approaches to the learning of theology in higher education. The paper argues that these relational principals of teaching and learning remain important in the face of the increased use of technology-based tools and other pedagogical challenges to theological
This article draws on the findings of recent learning theory in adult education and describes possible ecclesial dispositions that better enable parish churches to be learning communities within the mission of God for the world. Once we understand our educational philosophy and our goals then we are better served to inform and shape the way we plan and go about the process of teaching and learning, and so develop the church’s sense of mission. The article argues that, deep approaches to learning offer a vision for ecclesial learning that will draw from the many and varied contexts where diversity is increasingly our experience. Creative but transformative learning that is ‘world involving’ precisely because it is ‘God involving’ and vice versa, can help the church mirror approaches to mission that reflect discipleship and mission in the name of the Triune God.