Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Discussion Group

Tonight the students in our class were divided into four groups, that met along with a trained facilitator, to discuss the topic of our next paper. These discussion groups will meet four times during the year on one of our regular Wednesday evenings. To promote cohesion in the group, we will be part of the same group and have the same facilitator for each session.

Two questions are assigned at the beginning of each module that should be the basis for the conversations. The goal of this process is integrative learning. It is not simply to help us write good papers, but is part of a process to help us understand the readings and lectures by applying content to practical situations. We are to bring an outline for our paper, but the final draft of the paper should be written after the meeting and it should include any insights learned from the discussion.

During these meetings we will be asked to consider the theological and pastoral implications of our papers. The goals of these sessions are: 1) To help us clarify and probe the material more deeply, especially by seeing how it applies to concrete, pastoral situations. 2) To see the significance of what we are studying for parish life and to develop skills in analyzing pastoral situations, and 3) To develop the people skills necessary to work with and lead others in improve our pastoral capacity.

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